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19th Regiment Royal Artillery

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A Short Regimental History of 19th Regiment, Royal Artillery.

Foundation

The Regiment was originally formed in 1900 as 17 Brigade Division Royal Field Artillery and was made up of 13 Battery, 26 Battery, and 92 Battery. The Regiment became 17th Regiment Royal Artillery in 1938, and was renumbered as 19th Regiment in 1947.

With the end of national service in 1963, the Royal Artillery allocated 19th Regiment the recruiting area of the Highlands and Islands of Scotland, and it adopted the title "The Highland Gunners".

First World War

The Regiment saw action throughout the First World War. It landed three batteries with 18 Pdrs with assaulting troops at Gallipoli in 1915, evacuating later that year. By July 1916 the Regiment had incorporated 460 Heavy Battery (D Bty) and returned to duty in France. The Regiment suffered grievous losses during the Battle of the Somme supporting the Newfoundland Regiment; the Battle of Arras; Battles of the Ypres salient; the battle of Cambrai; the Battles of Lys, the advance to victory and the Final Advance in Flanders.

Second World War

Became 17th Field Regiment RA in 1938, with the four pre-1938 Btys combining into two, 10/26 Bty and 13/92 Bty. The Regiment hold the honour of being the first Regiment to fire in the War when 13/92 (now 28/143 Bty) Bty fired on 6th May 1940 at the Maginot Line. The Regiment later saw action in Tunisia during the North African campaign, across Sicily and then advanced through Italy.

Post War

Post-War demobilisation of the 1000 Artillery Regiments meant that the Regiment was re-designated 19 Field Regiment. The Regiment went on to serve in Korea and Hong Kong before deploying to Aden as 19th Light Regiment. In Aden the Regiment split up into small detachments and performed excellently, quashing rebel attacks and winning one Military Cross.

Cold War Years

During the Cold War years 19th Regiment Royal Artillery served in Dortmund, Germany, for 20 years between 1967 and 1990, with only a 5 year break from 1974 to 1979 in Larkhill, Wiltshire. The Regiment returned to the United Kingdom in 1990 to Topcliffe in North Yorkshire and then moved to Colchester in 1993 to become integral element in 24th Airmobile Brigade, equipped with the 105 mm Light Gun. The Light Gun is extremely versatile, very accurate and capable of being flown into action underslung beneath medium lift helicopters.

Recent times

In 1995, 19th Regiment was flown from the UK at very short notice into action in Bosnia to fire their guns "in anger" as part of Op DELIBERATE FORCE in which the UN raised the 3 year siege of Sarajevo. From June to December 1998, 19th Regiment again wore blue berets as they completed peacekeeping tour with the UNFICYP mission in Cyprus. In late 1999 the Regiment changed role as part of the Strategic Defence Review and became equipped with AS90 155mm self propelled howitzer and deployed in 2000 to the Balkans. In 2002 elements of 28/143 Battery deployed to Afghanistan as part of the 1 Royal Anglian Battle Group and the International Security Administration Force (ISAF), curbing criminal and militia activity (and had one of the only major contacts of that tour, which really pissed the Anglians off! hehehe). In 2003 the Regiment moved from Colchester to Larkhill and became a five Battery Regiment comprising, 19/5 Bty, 28/143 Bty, 127 Bty (legends), 52 Bty whose gun group is now disbanded, unfortunately. Only the TAC troop remains, and 13 Bty.

19th Regiment still recruits primarily in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. However, most of the Regiment comes from either the North East or Midlands, with a few cockneys and taffs thrown in for good mix. Oh and they have some Scottish people too, somewhere. The Regiment is proud of its Highland traditions and all ranks wear the Hunting Robertson tartan of Clan Donachaidh on their rank slides.

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