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TRADITIONS & CUSTOMS

 

Precedence  The Royal Horse Artillery, when on parade with its guns, takes precedence over all other Regiments and Corps of the British Army.   

Colours  The Colours of the Royal Regiment of Artillery are its Guns or Weapon Systems.  When on parade on Ceremonial occasions the Guns and Weapon Systems are to be accorded the same compliments as the Standards, Guidons and Colours of the Cavalry and Infantry.  

Mottoes and Arms  The Regimental Mottoes and Arms were granted by King William IV in 1832.  

Mottoes:  

●    Ubique – Everywhere.

●    Quo Fas et Gloria Ducunt – Where Right and Glory Lead.  

 

 

A general Regimental Order was published in 1833 which stated that the word ‘Ubique’ was to be substituted in lieu of all other terms of distinction hitherto borne on any part of the Dress of Appointments, throughout the whole Regiment.  The motto ‘Ubique’ thus took the place of all battle honours conferred on the Regiment prior to that date and all which have been earned by the regiment since then. The Regiment proudly refers to ‘Ubique’ as its Battle Honour.  

Arms  The Coat of Arms of the Regiment is the Royal Arms and Supporters over a gun with the mottoes Ubique and Quo Fas et Gloria Duncunt on scrolls above and below the gun.  (See frontispiece).  

Regimental Marches  The following Regimental Marches may be played at concerts, guest nights, ‘At Homes’ and similar occasions in the order given below.  When only one Regimental march is played the Royal Artillery Slow March is to be used.  

●    The Royal Artillery Quick March (from 1983 to date) – an arrangement of the British Grenadiers and the Voice of the Guns.  

●    The Regimental Trot Past – The Keel Row.  

●    The Regimental Gallop Past – Bonnie Dundee.  

●    The Royal Artillery Slow March (from c.1836 to date).  

Patron Saint  St Barbara, whose Saint’s Day is 4th December.  

Tie  The Regimental tie design is a zigzag red line on a blue background.  The line represents the lightning which, according to legend, killed Dioscorus in retribution for beheading his daughter Barbara for refusing to marry a heathen suitor.  Before her death she turned to Christianity and was later canonized.  In the early ages St Barbara was frequently invoked to grant safety during thunderstorms and with the advent of artillery, became the Patron Saint of Gunners.  

Badges, Crests and Cyphers The Regimental Cap Badge and Crest is a Gun surmounted by a Crown with the Regimental Mottoes on scrolls above and below the gun (approved 1902).  The Royal Horse Artillery Cap Badge and Crest is the Royal Cypher encircled by a Garter bearing the Royal Motto“Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense” – “Woe to he who thinks ill of it”.  It is surmounted by a Crown over a scroll hearing the words Royal Horse Artillery, the badge has no backing and the centre is not coloured.  (Granted in 1948).  The Regimental Monogram consists of the letters R and A reversed and interlaced and surmounted by a Crown.  The Monogram may be used instead of the Crest on notepaper etc.  The Grenade badge has been used since at least 1831, and has been worn mainly as a collar badge but also as a cap badge for the field service cap.  Although called the ‘Grenade’ badge its artillery origin is that of a mortar shell.  It was originally without the ‘Ubique’ scroll.  

Standard  The Royal Artillery Standard (approved in 1947) is for ceremonial use only, and is flown by RA Headquarters and formations, units and sub units during visits by Royalty and the Master Gunner, the Representative Colonel Commandant and the Regimental Colonel.  When flown at a Regimental Headquarters the Regimental Number is inserted in white Arabic numerals in the lower portion.  It is not carried on parade.  

Regimental Flag  The Regimental Flag is flown for day-to-day use at Headquarters but is not carried on parade.  

Trumpet Calls  The following trumpet calls are authorised for the Royal Artillery:  The RA Regimental Call, The RHA Regimental Call and the King’s Troop RHA Call.  

Honour Titles  Honour Titles may be granted to individual batteries to commemorate exceptional acts of service by the unit or a major part thereof.  They are not to be confused with Battle Honours such as are conferred on cavalry and infantry regiments.  

Alliances, Affiliations and Bonds of Friendship  The Royal Regiment of Artillery has alliances with the Artilleries of other nations and affiliations with other regiments and ships of the Royal Navy.  Some batteries are able to wear honorary distinctions in recognition of services in the field.  

The Royal Artillery Collect  The Royal Artillery Collect may be used on occasions when appropriate.                  

Lord Jesus Christ, who dost everywhere lead Thy

people in the way of righteousness, vouchsafe so 

to lead the Royal Regiment of Artillery that

wherever we serve, on land or sea or in the air, we

may win the glory of doing Thy will.  

The Royal Artillery Commemoration  “Let us remember with thanksgiving and honour before God and man, All ranks of the Royal Regiment of Artillery who have died giving their lives in the Service of their Sovereign and their Country”

(All)   “We will remember them”  

Salutes  All RA units both Regular and Reserve perform Gun Salutes which are fired at set saluting stations as laid down in Queen’s Regulations for the Army.  However on other appropriate occasions and when authorised, a Feu-de-Joie may be fired.  

Ceremonial  

All RA units both Regular and Reser perform ceremonial duties when required. In particular the:  

The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery  The King’s Troop RHA forms part of the Household Troops.  The Troop carries out ceremonial duties as ordered by General Officer Commanding The Household Division, in particular the firing of salutes on State occasions.  

The Royal Artillery Band  The RA Band is one of eight State bands and is commanded by a Director of Music.  

Mess Customs  

The Regimental Grace  The Regimental Grace, as formerly used at the Royal Military Academy Woolwich, will normally be used in messes:  

For what we are about to receive – Thank God

The Loyal Toast The following is the procedure for drinking the Loyal Toast in Officers’ Messes of the Royal Artillery.  After the port has been passed the President will tap the table, stand up and say, “Mr Vice – The Queen – Our Captain General”.  (If the Vice President is a female officer the phrase Madam Vice will be used.)  Everyone will then stand up with glass in hand.  The Vice President will say “Ladies and Gentlemen – The Queen”.  If a band is present the National Anthem will then be played in full before the Toast is drunk.  After the Vice President has spoken or the band has finished playing, each officer, whatever his rank, will say “The Queen” before drinking the Toast, no other words will be added.  In the Royal Artillery Mess, Larkhill, there is no Vice President.  The President announces the Loyal Toast in the fashion ‘Ladies and Gentlemen – The Queen, Our Captain General’.  Everyone will then stand up with glass in hand.  After the President has spoken or the band has finished playing, each officer, whatever his rank, will say “The Queen” before drinking the Toast, no other words will be added.  If a band is present the National Anthem will be played in full.  

Passing Snuff  Snuff is passed after the second round of Port.  On receiving the snuff box an officer should, if taking snuff, tap once, open the box, take snuff, close the box, tap again and pass.  If not taking snuff, tap three times and pass.