M Battery was formed as part of 2nd Troop Madras Horse Artillery on 23 January 1809, and after a succession of titles became M Battery RHA in July 1889. During the First World War the battery served in the North West Frontier Province of India until 1917 with 4 guns. In 1934 the battery exchanged its much loved 13 pounder's, and became mechanised with the 3.7 inch howizter. Having been linked with P Battery RHA for a short period in Abbassia, Egypt, the battery reformed as part of 3 RHA in August 1938.
During the 2nd World War the battery served in the Sidi Rezegh battles in the Western Desert in 1941 and as part of Operation Overlord in 1944, culminating with the Victory Parade in Berlin in 1945. In February 1958 the battery was placed into suspended animation until 1977 when it reformed as an independent anti tank battery and back into suspended animation in 1984 as 3 RHA reformed. During options for change in the 1993 the Headquarter Battery was renamed and became M (Headquarter) Battery RHA.
In 2003 the Battery deployed as part of 7th Armoured Brigade (The Desert Rats) to Iraq. The Battery were kept extremely busy during the war fighting period and even more so once the regiment had adopted their part in peace support operations.
On returning to Hohne after the operations in Iraq the battery had little time to sit on its laurels and relax. After some well deserved post tour leave the battery were straight back into training in preparation for the regiments deployment to Cyprus on Op TOSCA at the end of November 2003. whilst in Cyprus the battery ran the Regimental Headquarters, Regimental Operations Room, as well as helping the Regiment with civil affairs matters.
M (Headquarters) Battery RHA has been back in Hohne, Germany for 10 months since the end the Regiments deployment to Cyprus on OP Tosca. Since returning they have again assisted the regiment in what has been an extremely busy training year for all personnel within 7th Armoured Brigade.
The training year has involved all of the battery undertaking retraining into the Bowman radio system. This is essential to enable the transition from Clansman to Bowman to be as seamless as possible. The training year has also seen a lot of personnel catching up on important career courses that they have been unable to complete due to operational commitments.
The Battery was an integral part of Exercise Sheldrake Spear, which was a three week training exercise, held on Munster Sud and Bergen Hohne ranges during January and February 2005. This exercise also contained a Regimental Best Detachment competition, where the Battery entered numerous teams. A special mention must go to Sgt Hodges and his team who won the Best CP Detachment and a big pat on the back from the BC and BK.
Once again the FSCC and FDC crews have very busy with Battle group, Brigade and Divisional CASTs and CATTs, both in Hohne and Sennelager, within this training year. They have performed admirably in assisting the gun batteries with their training and higher levels of training after completing Op TOSCA and returning to their primary role of Gunnery.
During April of this year the Regiment held a parade to receive its second Wilkinson sword of peace and this saw the Battery taking a very active role in the planning, preparation and execution of this parade.
The Battery has also supplied personnel to assist the gun Batteries with essential training prior to their deployments on exercises at BATUS, Canada, as well as personnel to help make the numbers up to enable them to complete these exercises.
It has not all been work, work, work and the battery have had several well organised functions since returning from Cyprus. The new BK likes to see all members of the Battery working and playing hard.
Sport & Recreation
During the training year the battery has had numerous opportunities for adventure training as well as regimental sports activities. Lots of personnel from the battery have deployed on adventure training, which has involved activities like sailing, orienteering, rock climbing and skiing.
With the arrival of a new Commanding Officer there has been an impetus on inter battery activities, also known as the Regimental Best Battery competition. These take the form of lots of different sports and activities expanded throughout the year. Each battery is awarded points for placings within these competitions and M (Headquarter) Battery is currently top of the table for this year.
All ranks of M (Headquarters) Battery would like to take this opportunity to welcome to the Battery the following:
Major S S Hinds RHA - Battery Commander
Captain S Burley RHA - Battery Captain
The Battery is looking forward to some well earned summer leave before taking on vital training prior to the Regiments deployment on OP Telic 7, which sees the Regiment returning to Iraq. As I write this update the battery are busy conducting training essential for our deployment to Iraq.
M Battery Royal Horse Artillery