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
The 20 Year Parchment.
When a gunner, either RF or TF, completes 20 years service they are presented with a
parchment acknowledging that service.
The Regimental marches of the RNZA are:
Duchess of Kent
Quick: Right of
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
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.