British Army Royal Horse Artillery antique print


British Army Royal Horse Artillery antique print from Her Majesty’s Army by Walter Richards. Original antique chromolithograph image by G.D. Giles. Published c.1890. Printed area approx 8.25x6ins. Note: price shown is ex VAT.

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British Army Royal Horse Artillery antique print. The regiments of the Royal Horse Artillery (RHA), dating from 1793, are part of the Royal Regiment of Artillery (commonly termed Royal Artillery) of the British Army. Horses are still in service for ceremonial purposes but were phased out from operational deployment during the 1930s. Almost all the batteries of the Royal Horse Artillery have served continuously since the French Revolutionary Wars or Napoleonic Wars, except the King’s Troop which has existed since 1946 and M Battery which was ‘reanimated’ in 1993. In 1793, in the course of the French Revolutionary Wars, Great Britain and allied European powers declared war on France over French occupation of the Rhine delta and Antwerp, precipitating the Flanders Campaign. The British Army remained in conflict with French forces for almost 22 years, during which time significant progress was achieved in artillery development. The first two troops of Horse Artillery (A –later entitled “The Chestnut Troop”– and B) were raised in January 1793 by the Master-General of the Ordnance, to provide fire support for the cavalry. They were joined by two more troops in November 1793. Each troop had six 6-pounder guns. All RHA personnel were mounted. Included in the establishment were 45 drivers and 187 horses, making it the first self-contained fighting unit of artillery. Initially, horses were hired with civilian drivers. In 1794 a Driver Corps was raised which, however, did not formally become a unit of the Royal Artillery until after Waterloo. There were many disadvantages of the divided control until horses and drivers were organised into the RHA troops. Another development was the formation of a headquarters staff providing a channel between the regiment and the Board of Ordnance. Captain John Macleod was the first brigade major and became the first deputy-adjutant-general in 1795. By 1806, eleven troops had been formed, with ten companies of the Royal Irish Artillery incorporated, as the Seventh Battalion, after the union with Ireland in 1801. The regiment wore light cavalry uniforms of blue with gold lace and red facings. Their overalls were grey with a red stripe and on their heads they wore the distinctive Tarleton helmets. If needed, they carried 1796 light-cavalry sabres or their own semi-official RHA 1796P sabre. The RHA has acquitted itself with distinction in the great wars of two centuries, the Napoleonic Wars, the Indian Mutiny, the Crimean War, the Peninsular War, the Anglo-Zulu War, the Boer War, World War I and World War II. In 1859, the term “battalion” was replaced by “brigade”. (This in turn was replaced by “regiment” in 1939. The five Horse Artillery brigades consisted of two batteries each. Between 1899 and 1924, the Royal Artillery was divided, with the creation of the Royal Field Artillery which utilised horse for its medium-calibre guns.

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