94 (New Zealand) Headquarter Battery RA
On the 13th Sep 1803, A Company of the 8th Battalion Royal Artillery was formed at Woolwich under the command of Captain C Baynes. Baynes' Company departed Woolwich for tours in Malta, Castellamere in Southern Italy. After this campaign the Company then saw service in Egypt, Italy and Malta again, before returning to Woolwich on the 15th July 1819. After a short spell in Guernsey, the Company then moved to the Island of Jamaica. After six years in Jamaica the Company returned to Woolwich in 1833. It stayed here for 5 years and under went another change of title. The Company was now to be known as 2 Company, 8 Battalion Royal Artillery. Between 1838 and 1842 the Company was sent to Ireland, at the end of this tour they returned to Woolwich for a grand total of 28 days before embarking aboard HMS Dee, this time heading for a six year tour of Barbados. This life of Garrison posts came to an abrupt end in September 1854 when they landed in the Crimea. The battery was involved in the battles of Alma and Balaclava, which saw the famous Charge of the Light Brigade. The Company then saw action at Sevastopol, which was a major Russian Naval Base. After the company returned to Woolwich for a week before departing for another tour of Ireland. The Company then returned to Shorncliffe and became 3 Battery, 4 Brigade, RA.
In 1861 the Battery sailed for New Zealand. It was commanded by Capt Mercer, the Battery saw action on a number of occasions and at one point retrained as cavalry. In July 1863 a serious campaign began on the Waikato River. The Maoris were defending a fortified position on high ground in thickly wooded countryside intersected by streams. After considerable effort the guns were brought into action 600 yards from the Maori stockade. When supporting fire was lifted at the last safe moment the infantry began to take heavy casualties and the attack failed. As Capt Mercer led his men forward, armed with revolvers and bayonets, he was mortally wounded.
The stockade wall was too high to get over so Sergeant McKay and Gunner Green lit the fuses on some 16-pound mortar bombs and hurled them over the wall, effectively wining the battle. LT Pickard and Surgeon Temple were both awarded the Victoria Cross for their gallant actions attending to the wounded. This was under murderous fire from a gap in the stockade wall. The honour title 'New Zealand' was granted to the Bty on the 20th November 1934.
After 12 years at Woolwich the Bty had several more tours, which varied from India to the Northwest frontier on the Afghan border. With the outbreak of the Second World War the battery joined the 4th Division of the British Expeditionary Force seeing action in Northern France. After Dunkirk the Battery stayed in England for three years. In 1943 the Battery arrived in North Africa. They then took part in the invasion of Italy 1944, moving on to Greece in 1946.
In 1947 the Bty was renamed 94 (New Zealand) Battery and spent the next ten years in Gibraltar as a Heavy Anti-Aircraft Battery before returning to England in 1958 to receive the 25 Pounder. A two year tour of Cyprus beckoned in 1960 returning to Wales in 1962, the battery then arms plotted two years later to join 42 medium regiment in Lippstadt, where they used the 5.5 and M109 howitzers. IN 1971 saw the Battery pursuing more trouble in Northern Ireland, this time in Belfast, where they captured several terrorist arms. Returning to Lippstadt and stayed in Germany until their return to England in 1985. After the defence cuts of the early nineties the Battery was reformed in its present state with 4th Regiment in Osnabruck in 1993.
But, no matter where the members of 94 (New Zealand) Headquarters Battery Royal Artillery deploy to next, we will continue to serve with the same professionalism, courage and Commitment as our predecessors.
|4 Regt RA|
|HQ Battery | 3/29 Btry | 88 Btry | 97 Btry | Wksp|