26th Regiment RA Association
Royal Regiment of Artillery
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Click to email the Webmaster
Home
History

The Battery was raised in Dublin in May 1755 as 1st Company, 7th Battalion, Royal Irish Artillery and later became Capt Lindsay’s Company, 7th Battalion, Royal Artillery after the Act of Union 1801. On the 29th July 1934 the War Office gave approval to the inclusion of ‘Martinique 1809’ in the Battery’s title in recognition of its distinguished conduct during the capture of Fort Desaix, Island of Martinique, on 26th February 1809. A letter of the period in the Battery History states:
‘The conduct of the Artillery in these Operations was Excellent, both as regards professional skill and preserving spirit, having remained five nights and four days in their Batteries carrying on incessant fire, without any relief’s, notwithstanding many of the Officers and Men were suffering under severe dysentery and illness. The Lieutenant-General Commanding the Forces expressed his full approbation of the behaviour of the Regiment, both in General Orders and in an Address, and presented this Company with Battle Axes from the Enemy, as a mark of his entire satisfaction.’
During the 19th Century, in addition to its service, the Battery was to find itself in Ireland, Newfoundland, the West Indies, Canada, Gibraltar, South Africa and India.

The World wars
First World War. In action continuously throughout the war, the battery was engulfed during the German offensive on the Aisne in May 1918, only two gunners escaping. On 8th September the History notes a target was registered with aeroplane observation - the first recorded air op shoot. Second World War. The battery was mechanised in India in 1939 and moved to the Sudan with 5th Indian division in 1940. After re-equipping with 25 Pounder s it took part in the offensive which drove the Italian army from the Abyssinia and the Eritrea.
A notable action in this Campaign was the reduction of the Italian position at Keren on 15th March 1941 in which the Battery was involved as part of 14 Regt RA. On 14th June 1942 the Battery was to find itself in North Africa deployed near Knights Bridge. In what was later to become known as the Battle of the Cauldron, German tanks broke out and overran the Battery position after fierce fighting and only when all ammunition had been expended. Two officers alone were able to make their way to safety.
The Battery was reformed in Baghdad in February 1943 and, equipped with 3 inch Mortars, left to join the Garrison at Imphal where the Japanese advance into India was held. Re-equipped with 25 Pounder's again it took part in the fight for Burma with XIVth Army.

Post war Years
Returning to the United Kingdom in 1948 after an absence of 22 years, the Battery was brought up to strength after demobilisation and moved as part of 14 Regiment Royal Artillery to Hong Kong in 1949.
Playing its full part in the Korean War, the Battery was continuously in action from November 1951 until December 1952. In action on the 7th February 1952, a 101- Gun salute was fired at the news of the death of King George VI. This was immediately followed by a 21-Gun salute in honour of the accession of Queen Elizabeth II. Both salutes were fired into Enemy lines.
Service in Hong Kong and Germany was to see the end of the Battery’s association with the 25 Pounder. In May 1967 the Battery was re-equipped with the new Italian 105mm Pack Howitzer prior to duty based at Sharjah in the Persian Gulf during 1968-69.
On its return in July 1969 the Battery was posted to Larkhill and thus ended its proud connection with 28/14 Regiment Royal Artillery. Awarded the role of United Kingdom Light Battery assigned to the Allied Command Europe Mobile Force under NATO command in October 1969, the Battery was prepared for Operations on the Flanks of NATO from Norway, North of the Artic Circle, to Greece and Turkey. From 1971 to 1974 the Battery was attached to 26th Field Regiment Royal Artillery who were assigned to support the Royal School of Artillery.
In July 1979 the Battery moved as part of 19th Regiment Royal Artillery to Dortmund, and in 1980 completed a tour as the guard force at HMP Maze in Northern Ireland. On the Battery’s return to BAOR it supported the Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters regiment and the 1st Battalion the Light Infantry.
In May 1985 the Battery completed a second tour of HMP Maze, and returned with 19th Regiment Royal Artillery to Topcliffe, North Yorkshire in November 1990, where it supported the 1st Battalion the Gloucestershire Regiment.
The Battery’s Final Operational tour as 13 (Martinique 1809) Field Battery was in Belize 1990. Amalgamation with Headquarters Battery, 19th Regiment Royal Artillery took place on 8 May 1993 as part of the draw down of the British Army.
From June to December of 1995 the Battery was deployed with 19th Regiment Royal Artillery on active service in Bosnia, taking part in the siege of Sarajevo from September of that year. The Battery was then deployed as part of the United Nations Peace Keeping Force on the Green Line in Cyprus, from January to July 1998. The Battery was then deployed in Kosovo and Bosnia as part of the first Pan Balkan tour in the year 2000 the Battery was deployed as part of NATO’s stabilisation Force.
Most recently the Battery has was deployed to Iraq on Operation Telic 6 April to November 2006, as Part of 19th Regiment Royal Artillery with 12 Mechanized Brigade, 3 (UK) Division.
Fort Desaix, Island of Martinique