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.
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
. Britain remained in conflict with France for almost 22 years, during which time significant progress was achieved in artillery development.Graham C A L DSO psc, Brig Gen The Story of the Royal Regiment of Artillery
RA Institution, Woolwich 1939 The first two troops of Horse Artillery (A –later entitled "The Chestnut Troop"– and B) were raised in January 1793 at Goodwood, Sussex, by the Master-General of Ordnance, the third Duke of Richmond, 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... Read More