1st Regiment Royal Horse Artillery
|1st Regiment Royal Horse Artillery|
|Active||11 May 1938 – present|
but all the batteries have served continuously since 1855.
|Part of||1st Artillery Brigade|
|Nickname(s)||The South Yorks & Midland Gunners|
|Equipment||AS90 self-propelled gun|
1st Regiment Royal Horse Artillery is a regiment of the Royal Horse Artillery in the British Army. It currently serves in the armoured field artillery role, and is equipped with the AS90 self-propelled gun. The regiment is currently based at Assaye Barracks in Tidworth Camp.
The regiment itself is, by British Army standards, quite young, dating to 1938. However, it was created out of pre-existing batteries, all of which have served continuously since no later than 1855, and two of the regiment's batteries have served continuously since the 1790s.
- 1938 – Although some of the batteries existed for 145 years, 1st Regiment Royal Horse Artillery were formed at Bulford Camp on 1 May 1938.
Second World War
- 1939 – 1 RHA was part of 51st (Highland) Infantry Division, and fought at Saint Valery. The Regiment was captured after severe fighting, but some Batteries managed to escape after the Battle of Dunkirk. The Regiment reformed and was deployed to Northern Africa in late 1940.
- 1940 – The Regiment arrived with the Middle East Command in October 1940 and took a large part in Wavell's Campaign which opened on 9 December 1940. The most notable actions were those during the Siege of Tobruk and all the batteries fought during the fierce fighting just before El Alamein and then the First and Second Battles of El Alamein itself. After battle the Regiment was withdrawn to refit, and took no further part in the war in the Western Desert Campaign.
1 RHA then joined 10 Armd Division in Aleppo and spent the next year training all over Syria, Palestine and the Suez Canal Zone. 1 RHA then landed in Italy from Palestine in May 1944 at Taranto, and were in action south of Rome on 15 May 1944 and thereafter played a full part in the remainder of the Italian Campaign and finished the war in Italy.
The regiment saw service as follows:
- 1945 – 1 RHA were stationed in Palestine after the Second World War, during the period of terrorist activity that led to the creation of the State of Israel.
- 1950 – 1 RHA returned to England as part of 6th Armoured Division at Salisbury Plain. They were formed because of the emerging threat from the Soviet Union.
- 1952 – 1 RHA moved to Münster in West Germany, where they remained until 1958 as part of the 20th Armd Bde of 6th Armd Div.
- 1958 – Moved to Hildesheim, where they were equipped with the M44 Self Propelled 155 mm Howitzer.
- 1965 – 1 RHA deployed to Aden with three batteries (each split into three independent 2 gun sections), where they supported British battalions in the Radfan, and South Arabian battalions on the Yemeni border. The third battery was based at BP Camp in Little Aden, where they carried out internal security duties during the Aden Emergency. All three batteries rotated, and during 21 months in Aden, 1 RHA fired over 23,000 rounds in over 200 operations, supporting seven British and six Arab battalions, and suffered nearly 50 casualties.
Recent and current conflicts
Deployments continued as follows:
- 1969 – 1 RHA were the first Gunner regiment to be tasked on Operation Banner and deployed in November 1969. With a mobile force comprised with more Land Rovers and Radios than predecessors, it was able to respond more rapidly to troublespots.
- 1972 – 1 RHA moved to Northern Ireland to support 3 Inf Bde. E Battery deployed to the Long Kesh, The Chestnut Troop in Fermanagh, B Battery around Dungannon and the Radar Troop in County Down.
- 1974 – In February 1 RHA arrived in Belfast City Centre to take over from 19 Field Regt RA. They dealt with over 600 real and hoax Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) bomb alerts of which approx 60 were real. B Battery lost Gunner Farrington during an IRA attack.
- 1976 – 1 RHA deployed on its fourth Northern Ireland tour, in Belfast City Centre.
Persian Gulf War
- 1990 – Elements of 1 RHA were attached to 40 Field Regiment RA to bring them up to war establishment for the duration of Op Granby.
- 1992 – 1 RHA moved to Assaye Barracks in Tidworth in preparation for the AS-90 Self-propelled artillery.
- 1996 – 1 RHA deployed with IFOR to Bosnia.
- 1998 – 1 RHA deployed with SFOR to Bosnia.
- 1999 – 1 RHA (BBty tac group) deployed with the NATO led force in Kosovo.
- 2000 - E Battery Royal Horse Artillery deployed to Kosovo (Podujevo) and Bosnia (Sanski Most) with 19 Regt RA as part of the first British Pan-Balkan Artillery Regiment.
- 2000 – The Chestnut Troop deployed to Sanski Most, Bosnia; whilst L/N Battery and elements of O/Hq Bty deployed to Kosovo.
- 2002 – 1 RHA sent B Battery to Šipovo in Bosnia as the UK Artillery Battery; whilst A Battery deployed with the QRL to Kosovo.
Operation TELIC in Iraq
- 2004 – 1 RHA deployed to Basra, Iraq on Operation Telic (Op TELIC 4) as part of 1st Mechanised Brigade. The Chestnut Troop initially supported the 1 Cheshire Battlegroup monitoring the city police. B Battery trained the regional police departments before providing protection Provincial Support and Liaison Team. E Battery trained the Border Police, and also had soldiers attached to the Danish contingent to the north of Basra.
The batteries are as follows:
- A Battery (The Chestnut Troop) – Equipped with AS90 self-propelled gun and based at Assaye Barracks in Tidworth Camp.
- B Battery – Equipped with AS90 self-propelled gun and based at Assaye Barracks in Tidworth Camp.
- E Battery – Equipped with AS90 self-propelled gun and based at Assaye Barracks in Tidworth. 
- O Battery (The Rocket Troop) – Headquarters Battery based at Assaye Barracks in Tidworth.
- REME Workshops.
- "1st Regiment Royal Horse Artillery". British Army units 1945 on. Retrieved 11 May 2014.
- "Army 2020" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 June 2014. Retrieved 10 May 2014.
- "Battery Histories". Retrieved 10 May 2014.
- "Letter from Brigadier Mead". 1st Artillery Brigade and Headquarters South West. Retrieved 16 December 2016.