49 (Inkerman) Headquarter Battery RA
Gunboats on Lake Champlain - 1812
1779 - 1848
The Battery was raised on 1st August 1779 as Number 9 Company of 4 Battalion, Royal Artillery and were known as Capt Wood’s Company. The full history of the Battery is still being researched. The Battery served in Jamaica and in 1812, during the Second American War, it was engaged on board gunboats on the Canadian Lakes and on various out post duties. The Company also saw service in the Duke of Wellington Army in Belgium, but not at Waterloo.
The Battery was then put into suspended animation from 1819-1848. The Company was then reformed in 1848, soon transferring to 11th Battalion as Number 4 Company, spending five years as a Garrison Artillery Unit in Woolwich.
1848 - 1870
1n 1848 the Battery was re-designated and served as ‘G’ Battery part of 2nd Division in the Crimean War. At the Battle of Inkerman, Capt Andrew Henry was awarded the Victoria Cross for defending the guns of his Battery against overwhelming numbers of enemy on the 5th November 1854, and continuing to do so until he had received twelve bayonet wounds. He was at the time Company Sergeant Major of G Battery 2nd Division.
In 1870 the Battery took part in Garnet Wolseley’s Red River Expedition, they were stationed near Montreal and supplied four NCO’s, 15 Gunners and 115 horses with four 7-pounder bronze mountain guns, under the command of Lt Alleyne. The Battery returned to England later that year and moved to Ipswich on 2nd November 1870.
1870 - 1905
An 18 Pounder Gun
Between 1870-1905 the Battery served in England, South Africa where it participated in the Zulu War, 4th July 1879. Also 1900 South African War, present at Spion Kop, Vaal Krantz, Tugela Heights, and crossing Tugela.
The Battery moved to Meerut, India in January 1905 where it was equipped with the 18- pounder gun.
On the outbreak of the Great War the Battery returned to Europe as part of the 3rd (Lahore) India Division, via Bombay, Aden and Suez, and served in Flanders for two years with the Division, before Transferring to the Middle East in 1916.
1918 saw the Battery back in Flanders until he end of the war, coming into action at Vimy Ridge in May. The Battery was demobilized in January 1919, and remained in England until 1939, being motorized in 1922 and forming part of the Experimental Armoured Force of 7th Infantry Brigade between 1927 and 1929. XI Brigade was renumbered 9th Field Regiment in 1938.
The breakout of the Second World War saw the Battery serve as the Expeditionary Force in France, coming into action for the first time 11th May 1940, then returning through Dunkirk. In 1942 the Battery moved back to South Africa, and then 1943 to India. They also served in Madagascar forming part of British Force 121. The Battery also went on to serve in India and Borneo with 20th Indian Division until 1947 when they returned home to UK.
Post Cold War
Since the Second World War, the Battery has served in Hong Kong, Korea, Egypt, Cyprus, Libya, Germany, Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Kosovo and Iraq.
After the first Gulf War 49 (Inkerman) Battery deployed to Az Zubayer Port in Southern Iraq on Operation Telic 2.
Role and Organisation
A 'Cymbeline' radar. When it was turned on, everyone went to sleep.
The Battery provides the full suite of command and operational support capabilities, including the core Brigade Joint Strike Operations Cell, targeteering and weaponeering specialists, Artillery Intelligence, all Regimental Combat Service Support functions, has ownership of training delivery and standards, and provides the core Regimental staff officers and support personnel. In addition, the Battery is responsible for delivery of Joint Fires Integration and Air Land Integration training for the Brigade Fire Support Teams and owns the core Targets/Strike input to the Operational Intelligence Support Group (OISG).
The Battery is commanded by a Major with a large team in direct support. Over the last 2 decades, the role of all HQ Batteries has been allowed to atrophy due to lack of operational focus and interest. The nature of current conflict has re-awakened this interest and there has been a positive effort to put top class individuals into these batteries as a matter of course, as opposed to 'dumping grounds' for the disaffected, sick, lame and lazy. And anyone into radars.
Old Comrades' Association
We are seeking members of the Battery prior to the change in title, to 49 (Inkerman) Headquarter Battery, which took place in 1993. So if you served in the Battery when it was Headquarter Battery or in the battery when it was a gun battery, why not join the OCA, and help make the 49 (Inkerman) Headquarter Battery Old Comrades Association even more successful. Log on to the website for full details.
The OCA holds a Bi-annual reunion, as close to the 5th November as possible, with the next reunion being 2008. It is normally held at the Quality Hotel, Junction 10, M6 (the Walsall/Wolverhampton exit).
With an average attendance rate of 150-200 members, it is a lively and enjoyable weekend. Any person who has served in the Battery (in any of its guises) is eligible for membership. We have members from 1942 (sadly, diminishing quite quickly) to the present day serving members with 40 Regiment RA.
Whether you're an Old Comrade or not, you're quite welcome to visit us at our site below.