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Traditions

 

Traditions

Traditions

Battle Honours and Mottoes.  The battle honours won by the Royal Artillery are far too numerous to display on Colours. It was decided in 1833 that a badge be cast incorporating a design that would indicate to all the honours held by the Royal Artillery. A replica of the type of nine pounder gun used at the Battle of Waterloo was selected as the centre piece of the badge. The battle scroll 'UBIQUE' indicated that the Royal Artillery had fought in every major engagement that the British Army had fought, and took the place of individual battle honours. Above the battle scroll was placed the Royal Coat of Arms. This was later replaced by a crown only. A scroll bearing the motto of the Royal Artillery, QUO FAS ET GLORIA DUCUNT (Where right and glory lead) was placed below the gun. The NZ Artillery was granted the 'Royal' title in 1947. 

Gunners Day - 26 May. The anniversary of the formation of the Royal Artillery by Royal Warrant dated 26 May 1716.

Patron Saint. Our patron saint is St Barbara. Somewhat to the chagrin of gunners she was decanonised in 1970. Her feast day is 4 December. 

Bayonets on Parade. Bayonets are not fixed on normal ceremonial parades in the Royal-Artillery because they are not traditional weapons of the Artillery. They were used by the Foot Artillery in the 18th Century but for the 150 years before World War II they were not issued to the Regiment at all. It was considered, and rightly, that the Gunners could defend themselves against close-quarter attack with their guns, firing Case shot, and later shrapnel shell with Fuze 0, timed to burst at the muzzle. Furthermore in horse-drawn days the rifles were carried in leather rifle buckets on the horses or on clips on the gun limbers and wagons, and it was found most uncomfortable for a man riding a horse to have a bayonet on his belt. However, during World War II, bayonets were issued to Gunner units in Burma, and elsewhere, for use against enemy infantry infiltrating into the gun positions at night, and they have been with us ever since. Nonetheless, at the time that the ceremonial drills were evolved we had no bayonets to fix, and we have carried on the tradition of not fixing them except on very special occasions. These are normally confined to Guards of Honour for Her Majesty The Queen or persons representing Her Majesty.

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Regimental Ties. The Regimental tie is navy blue with a red lightening flash. It is normal for all Commonwealth Gunners to wear their Regimental tie each Friday and on other suitable occasions, when dressed in suitable civilian attire.

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The Cap Badge.  The badge of the Royal Regiment of New Zealand Artillery is shown above. It should be noted that 'Royal New Zealand Artillery' has been inscribed on the scroll in lieu of the motto 'Quo fas et Gloria Ducunt'. This is the last of a series of badges that have evolved since the New Zealand Artillery Volunteers days. The bronzed officers and W01 cap and collar badges were introduced just prior to World War II because they were less conspicuous in battle than the brass type. This was particularly important for OP officers. It should be remembered that prior to World War II the dress for service in the field was Service Dress.

 

wpe14.gif (988 bytes) The Stable Belt. The stable belt worn by the RNZA is that of the RA. The colours of the belt are red, dark blue and gold. The red and blue are also the colours of our flags and pendants. The gold indicates our close connection with the sovereign, our Captain General

 

The Beret.  On St Barbara's Day 1984 the RNZA moved away from the traditional 'service corps' blue beret to adopt the Khaki beret as its own distinctive head dress. The Khaki beret had first been worn by New Zealand gunners in the desert during World War II, and later by 16 Fd Regt in Korea

 

The Silver Grenade. Within the RNZA it has become a tradition to present retiring RF gunners, who have served the guns for a minimum of 25 years continuous service, with a silver grenade. The grenade is normally presented by the Corps when the recipient is dined out of the active Regiment.

The 20 Year Parchment. When a gunner, either RF or TF, completes 20 years service they are presented with a parchment acknowledging that service.

Regimental Marches.   The Regimental marches of the RNZA are:

Slow:       The Duchess of Kent

Quick:       Right of the Line

March Past : British Grenadiers

The Regimental Family

The Captain General  The family is headed by HM Queen Elizabeth II, our Captain General, who assumed the appointment in 1953. The rank of Captain-General dates from the 15th Century but was replaced by Field Marshal in 1736. During a guest night at Woolwich in 1950 HM King George VI expressed a desire to revive the rank. This was effected, and HM Queen Elizabeth assumed the appointment on her accession to the Throne.

The Master Gunner, St James Park. The Master Gunner, St James Park is the head of the Royal Regiment of Artillery in all Regimental matters and is the channel of communication between the Regiment and the Captain-General. His appointment stems from the days of Henry VIII, who first established a permanent force of gunners in England when he appointed a Master Gunner and 12 paid gunners to the Tower of London. This idea was later expanded and Master Gunners were appointed to all main towers and castles. They were responsible for the care of their equipment, training the gunners and for retaining the service of some civilians to be called to the colours if required (The first TF?). In 1545 Henry VIII appointed the Master Gunner of The Tower of London to be Master Gunner of England, with jurisdiction over all other Master Gunners. This title was changed in 1796 to Master Gunner of St James Park, and remains so to this day.

Colonels Commandant.  The office of Colonel Commandant dates back to 1727 when Colonel Albert Borgard was appointed the first Colonel of the Royal Regiment of Artillery. This precedent has been carried on in New Zealand where the Colonel Commandant is a distinguished retired Gunner Officer. He is not concerned with the operational affairs of the Regiment, but rather with domestic matters and the general well being of the Regiment. Details on the current Colonel Commandant are on display in your Regimental or Battery areas.

NZ Master Gunner. As well as recognising the Master Gunners, St James Park, the RNZA has its own Master Gunner. The origins of Master Gunner is an ancient one. In the past monarchs from time to time appointed various masters, eg, Wagonmaster, Trenchmaster, etc. to specialise in their particular military arts. and to keep abreast of progress. They have all since faded away except the Master Gunner. He has held his ground for over six centuries, for as soon as Gunner's became soldiers Master Gunners were put in charge of them, whether on board ship, in the field or in coastal defence forts. The Master Gunner on board ship gradually lost 'Master' from his title, and became simply 'Gunner'. In the field he was the executive officer in charge of the artillery, (or more correctly, the artillery train) and as such was responsible for the training of his men and the maintenance of the equipment in his charge. He disappeared from the artillery train with the arrival of commissioned 'artillerists'. However, the Master Gunner in fort or fortress remained until 1956 when coastal artillery in the British army came to an end. From the earliest days in forts he was not only answerable for the care and maintenance of ordnance, ammunition and stores, but was also in executive command of the guns and Gunners in action. It was only with the appearance of the commissioned officer in coastal artillery that he relinquished the last duty, and became solely responsible for the proper maintenance and accounting of guns, ammunition and associated stores. The post is now held at the School of Artillery as a Warrant Officer Class One. The Master Gunner is now responsible for the supervision and maintenance of technical standards within the RNZA.

The RNZA Advisory Council.   The RNZA Advisory Council was formed in 1980 to provide advice to the Corp on aspects of the Regiment's history, customs and traditions. The Council has no executive authority. The Council is chaired by the Colonel Commandant and comprises past Colonels Commandant, senior serving RF and TF Officers and a RF Warrant Officer, and the President of the Old Comrades Association. The Council normally meets twice yearly.

The Regiment has many associated organisations throughout New Zealand. These include the New Zealand Permanent Force Old Comrades Association, Artillery Officers' Messes and Artillery Associations.

 

Ceremonial

Precedence. When units of artillery are on parade they take precedence in their numerical order. When batteries are on parade they take precedence among themselves by alphabetical lettered order followed by numerical order. When detached Batteries or Troops are on parade with complete Regiments, the larger units take precedence over the smaller. Within branches of Artillery the Corps precedence is given as Field, Medium and Heavy units, Locating units and Air Defence units.

Right of the Line By the middle of the 18th Century development of military tactics had led to the guns being placed on the right flank of infantry formations in battle. It is because of this, and an increasing admiration for the skill and accuracy of the gunners, that in 1756 King George II stated that the Royal Artillery was to 'take the right of Foot and all Dragoons when dismounted'. The right of the line was always considered the post of honour and this order of precedence has continued in effect to this day. RNZA units always therefore take the right of the line when on parade either with or without guns.

Colours. The term 'Colours' normally refers to Cavalry Standards and Guidons, and Infantry Colours. These bear the battle honours of the unit concerned. In 1833 The Royal Regiment of Artillery, because its battle honours were so numerous, relinquished Colours and was granted the honour title 'UBIQUE' meaning 'EVERYWHERE'. Our guns were accepted as Colours, 'an emblem to be kept bright and free from all reproach'. Today the Colours of the Royal Regiment of New Zealand Artillery are its guns. When on parade on ceremonial occasions the guns are accorded the same compliments as the Standards, Guidons and Colours of the Cavalry and Infantry. It is impracticable in modern times to treat the guns as Colours on non-ceremonial occasions, but they are always to be treated with dignity and respect.

The Firing of Salutes.. The custom of firing salutes on important occasions dates from the early 15th Century, when it was customary for ships on entering a foreign port or harbour, to discharge their guns, so that they were then defenceless and in the power of the individual or country to whom it was desired to pay honour. In 1688 the scale of salutes was officially laid down, with 19 guns being the maximum fired for the highest ranks which might be honoured. Later, this was increased to 21 guns in the case of honours paid to members of Royalty.

Freedoms.   In past centuries units were often recruited entirely from one village or town with all the men of fighting age going off to war as required by the local nobility. When a unit's performance was particularly heroic, thereby achieving prestige for the town, the unit would be given the "Freedom of City". This entitled the unit to certain privileges in that town (including cheap or free liquor!). It also include the right of parading through the town with weapons drawn. In modern times in NZ 'Freedoms' have been granted to a number of NZ units and amount to parading through the town and being inspected by the Mayor. In the RNZA our guns are paraded through the city or town. RNZA units have the following Freedoms:

a. 16 Fd Regt : Freedom of the County Town of Raglan

b. 22(D) Bty : Freedom of the City of Wellington

c.     4(G) Mdm Bty : Freedom of the City of Hamilton

d. 11(A) Bty : Freedom of the City of Papakura

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