22nd Regiment Royal Artillery Old Comrades Association
22nd Regiment Royal Artillery Old Comrades Association
Last Update | Sunday, 26 March, 2006 9:39 AM
:: History ::
:: Regimental History

22 CrestOn 1 May 1947, 153 LAA Regt RA and its Batteries were renumbered and became 22 LAA Regt RA, consisting of 47 LAA Bty, 53 (Louisburg) LAA Bty and 58 (Eyre's Company) LAA Bty. These Btys were previously known as 129,130 and 131 LAA Btys respectively. The regiment, at the time, was stationed at Husum in Schleswig-Holstein and its task was training recruits. It changed its role to LAA on 1 Dec 1947.

In early 1948 the Regiment moved to Munster, where it was employed on behalf of the Commander-in-Chief, Germany to maintain law and order. Shortly afterwards, on 20 Jan 1949 another change of location was made to Menden where the Regiment stayed until 1957. During this time 48 Bty replaced 58 Bty which departed to form part of 53 LAA Regt RA.

In 1957 after 10 years in BAOR the Regiment moved to Pembroke Dock, Wales. On the 1 Mar 1958, 42 and 44 Btys joined from 72 Regt on disbandment and 47 and 48 Btys departed to the School of Artillery. 44 Bty was also soon to be disbanded and in 1960 the Regiment had only 2 Btys 53 and 42, this orbat was to remain until 1970.

During 1959 the Regiment served on IS Duties in Co Fermanagh, Northern Ireland and 1961 brought the return of the Regiment to BAOR. It was stationed in Dortmund then Gutersloh where it remained until April 1964 when it moved to Hubbelrath. From here, in Sep the same year, the Regiment went to Singapore for a 6 month emergency tour until April 1965. After only 1 year, in Mar 1966 it returned to the Far East until Feb 1967, with RHQ in Tampin, 53 Bty in Borneo and 42 Bty in RAF Changi. The Regiment returned to Tonfanau Camp, whilst 42 Bty remained in Singapore until Mar 1968 when it rejoined the Regiment in Wales.

In December 1969 the Regiment was sent to Dortmund for the second time, where 11 (Sphinx) Bty joined from 34 LAD Regt RA on that Regiment's disbandment. The Northern Ireland troubles were starting and the Regiment went there 3 times in 3 years. The first tour from Nov 1971 to 6 Mar 1972 to Londonderry; Bloody Sunday featured during this tour. The next tour was back to Derry from 14 Mar to 18 Jul 1973, followed by the third tour from 5 Nov 1974 to 5 Mar 1975 again in Londonderry. Not allowed to settle for long, in Sep 1975 the Regiment returned to England and Kirton-in-Lindsay for conversion to Rapier. 42 (Alem Hamza) Bty departed alone for Belfast from 24 May to 25 Sep 1976 for their fourth tour.
November 1977 saw the return of the Regiment to Dortmund this time with Rapier.

Having settled in - off again to the Province and this time to Lurgan, Portadown and HM Prison, The Maze. This tour was from 27 Nov 1978 to 27 Mar 1979.

On the 29th March 1985, 22 Air Defence Regiment celebrated three events in one. Firstly the Regiment became the first "square" Rapier unit, with the formation of a fourth missile battery. On completion of the delivery of Tracked Rapier from British Aerospace, the Regiment now had two tracked batteries and two towed batteries, each of 12 fire units.

The battery to be reformed was 35 Air Defence Battery, which was raised in the 18th Century and as such is one of the more senior batteries in the Royal Regiment.

The second celebration was for the return of 11 (Sphinx) Battery from their OP CORPORATE tour. This alone had enabled there to be four batteries on parade.

Thirdly the day marked the end of the conversion of 53 (Louisburg) Battery from Towed to Tracked Rapier. Thus the Regiment now had two operational Tracked Rapier Batteries.

In 1992 the Regiment moved back to Rapier Barracks in Kirton in Lindsey, at the same time losing 11 (Sphinx) Bty as it remained in Germany as part of 16 Air Defence Regiment.

:. 53 (Louisburg)Battery

53 Battery Crest53 (Louisburg) Battery descended from Captain Mellidge's Company, formed in 1740. The honour title "Louisburg" commemorates the first stage of campaigns in Canada against the French in 1758. The campaign were launched from Halifax, Nova Scotia. Captain Mellidges Company was then commanded by Captain Brome and it was an integral part of the sea-borne assault to capture the fortress at Louisberg.

The Landing of guns was an extremely difficult task but the company managed it and they reduced the walls of the fortress to rubble, thus silencing the French guns. In the words of the French Garrison Officer" Each cannon shot from the English Batteries shook and brought down immense pieces of the ruinous walls"

Louisberg surrendered on the 27th July 1758. The Battery was granted the honour title of Louisburg in 1937. The Battery has served at Sebastapol in the Crimea (1854), The Indian Mutiny (1857-8),the Second Afghan War (1878-90), Sulva and Gallipoli in the Great War and throughout the Second World War.

53 (Louisburg) Battery subsequently served as part of 22nd Regiment in the Malay Peninsula (1964), Borneo (1966) and has recently completed several tours of Northern Ireland.

Following the suspended animation of 22 Regiment in April 2004 the Battery joined 5th Regiment RA. The Battery became the senior Battery in 5th Regiment and has since converted to a Surveillance Target and Acquisition (STA) Role. 'A' troop have taken up the Radar role with MAMBA and COBRA, while B troop are tasked with the ASP (Advanced Sound Ranging Program) equipment.


Click here to view the history behind the Louisburg honour title

:. 35 Battery

35 Crest35 Battery was originally formed as C Battery 1st Battalion Madras Artillery in 1765. It spent most of the 18th Century and the 19th Century serving in India, only returning to Great Britain in the late 19th Century.

The Battery served in the Great War and then formed part of the British Expeditionary Force in 1939. Since the Second World War, the Battery has seen service in Arakan, Hong Kong, Malaya, Germany, Northern Ireland and Cyprus. On 1st March 1985 it joined 22nd Regiment Royal Artillery.

The Battery, along with 22 Air Defence Regiment, was put into suspended animation on 1 April 2004.

On 16 July 2004, 35 Battery was reformed as a General Support Battery in 39 Regiment Royal Artillery based in Newcastle. It has now been equipped with the Multiple Launch Rocket System.


:. 42 (Alem Hamza) Battery

42 Crest42 (Alem Hamza) Battery was raised as Captain Buchanon's Battery 4th Battalion Royal Artillery on 16th February 1771. The Company embarked for North America in 1773 and fought in the War of Independence before moving North to Quebec. Here it fought in numerous actions during the American Second War. The Battery then moved to India and took part in the Second Afghan War armed with Screw Guns.

In December 1914 the Battery deployed to France and the Great War. It took part in the Battle of Neuve Chapelle, the Second Battle of Ypres and in Salonika. During the Second World War the Battery fought with distinction in North Africa, Italy and North West Europe. It was at Alem Hamza in North Africa in 1941 that the Battery gained its honour title. Tobruk had been relieved by the Allies and the pursuit of the Axis Forces had begun in earnest.

As part of a combined force with an infantry battalion and a company of cavalry the Battery found itself isolated on the Alem Hamza ridge. After an extremely heavy enemy artillery bombardment and air attack an overwhelming German force, including approximately 400 tanks, attacked the Allied force. The Battery's 25 pounders fought on, gun detachments reduced to as few as 2 men. Eventually all had been killed or taken prisoner, but not before the British guns had taken their toll of German tanks and men. The honour title of Alem Hamza was approved by Her Majesty the Queen on 12th December 1973.

In 1951 the Battery was sent to Korea where it fired in support of 25th Canadian Brigade. 42 (Alem Hamza) Battery joined 22nd Regiment on 1st March 1958 and since then it has served in the Malay Peninsula and Borneo.

Following the suspended animation of 22 Regiment in April 2004 the Battery joined 32 Regiment RA which currently operates as an Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV) Regiment.


:. 11 (Sphinx) Battery

11 Bty CypherThe Battery was first formed in 1755 as 2 Company, Bombay Artillery that was part of the army of Presidency of Bombay maintained by the honourable East Indian Company.

Their first action was in 1756 at the Siege of Gheria, South of Bombay where Tulaji Angria had set himself up as the ruler of the district and had assembled a fleet, which he used for piracy. The troops, under Lieutenant Colonel Clive, landed and cut of the fort from the town but in addition a number of Artillerymen were employed bomb ketches firing mortars. The siege was successful and Tulaji Angria was overthrown.
In March 1957 a detachment from the Battery took part in Clives Campaign near Calcutta and were involved in the Battles of Chandernagore and Plassey.

The Battery went to Egypt in 1801 as part of the Indian contingent in the campaign against Napoleon. As a result of this the Battery were allowed to bear "Egypt" and the Sphinx on its appointments. This award is now commemorated in the Honour Title "Sphinx" but a Sphinx badge was worn by the Battery on the tropical helmet in India between the wars.
The Battery took part in the Third Mahratta War (1817-18) and was awarded the Army of India Medal with the bars Seetabuldee, Mahidpore and Corygaum for their services at those battles.

In the first Afghan War, 1839-40, acting as No 2 Mule Battery, and under the command of Captain T J Pontardent, served with the Bombay Column and went Kabul via Quetta and Ghunzee. Members of the Battery were awarded the Ghunzee Medal for service at Ghunzee on 21-23 July 1839.
The next major action of the Battery was in the Persian War of 1856-57 when they manned mortars on rafts to bombard the Turkish positions at Mohamerah. The BC, Captain Worgans, was recommended for the Victoria Cross.

In the Indian Mutiny the Battery was employed as No 2 Light Field Battery and took part in the capture of Awah in January 1858, the siege of Kotah in March 1858 and the action at Chota Udepure in December 1858. Just after the Mutiny the Battery was transferred to the Royal Artillery and became 1 Battery 21 Brigade RA.

Perhaps the greatest campaign of the Battery was the Boer War where, as 81 Fd Battery, they fought at Klip Drift, Klip Kral, Paardeberg, Driefontein, Doorkop, Brandwater Basin, and in The Transvaal with Kitcheners Column in 1901. The battle of Paardeberg showed the Battery at its best. They were bombarding General Cronje's camp when they were attacked by two separate columns of Boers attempting to relieve the pressure on Cronje. Not perturbed the BC directed one section to continue bombarding the Boer Camp and the other two sections to engage separately the two Boer Columns. The Battery was thus engaging three separate targets, all in different directions.

In the First World War the Battery went to France with V Brigade RFA as part of the Indian Lahore Division. They took part the Battles of Nueve Chapelle, Aubers Ridge, Festubert, Loos, St Julien and La bassee.

Just before the Second World War the Battery, in common with other field Batteries, was linked with 63 Field Battery to form a twelve gun 63/81 Battery, B Troop of which was authorised to use the "Sphinx" title. In 1939 the Battery was in India and from January to May 1940 was on active service with Azinforces near Bannu for even in 1940 there was still trouble on the Indian Frontier. On 6th November 1941 the Battery arrived in Singapore from India. When the Japanese invaded the Battery they fought until the order to capitulate was given and what was left of the Battery spent the next few years in Japanese Prison Camps.

In June 1943 the Battery was reformed in UK but remained there until the end of the war. On 1 April 1947 the Battery was retitled 11(Sphinx) Searchlight Battery and two years later became a LAA/Search-Light Battery. It was as such that at Langham on 5th August 1950 the Battery was informed that it would be proceeding to Korea as an independent Battery. It was soon brought up to full strength and on embarkation there were no fewer than thirteen officers in the Battery.

In Korea the three troops were placed under command of various units for LAA protection, but it soon became obvious that the Bofors was very effective in the ground role and there were several occasions when the guns were so used. At the Imjin Battle A Troop were present, supporting 45 Field Regiment in the ground role, in July 1951 the Battery was re-organized into three troops each of three 4.2 inch mortars and one troop of six Bofors and it was not until after this, and after ten months in korea, that the Battery experienced its first engagement of enemy aircraft. The Battery left Korea in November 1951.

In August 1956 the Battery was ordered to mobilise because of the Suez Crisis but in the event was destined not to take part in the campaign. In 1958 the Battery, however the Battery went to Cyprus, without its guns, on IS duties but returned to UK after only two months.

In August 1960 the Battery went to Singapore and in October 1961 moved to Hong Kong. It was there that, on 23 October 1962 the Battery was ordered to the Aden protectorate for operations. This was due to Yemeni air attacks on Beihan State and eventually the Battery was deployed at Nugub and Beihan with a troop in reserve in Aden. This troop was later used from time to time in an infantry role. Several Yemeni aircraft were seen but all were out of range of the guns. The Battery was relieved in March 1963 and returned to Hong Kong. In August they returned to the UK for leave before moving to BAOR in October 1963.

In December 1969, 34 Lt AD Regiment, to which 11 Battery had belonged for over twenty years, was disbanded. The Battery then transferred to 22 Lt AD Regiment, which had moved to Dortmund from Wales. Since then the Battery have completed two tours in Northern Ireland, November 1971 to March 1972 and March to July 1975.

The Battery returned from IS duties Northern Ireland in March 1975, in September that year the Battery moved with the Regiment, to Kirton in Lindsey, South Humberside joining 3 (UK) Div. A year later the Battery Converted to Towed Rapier, Low Level Air Defence System. The following year the Battery moved back to BAOR.

In February 1984 the Battery was selected to be the first to be equipped with Tracked Rapier. Later that year in November the Battery went on operational tour of the Falkland Islands until March 1985.

In 1992 the Battery said farewell to 22 Regiment RA, and was transferred to 16 Regiment RA, at the same time both Regiments Arms plotted, with 16 Regiment RA moving Dortmund and 22 Regiment RA moving back to Kirton in Lindsey.

On the 11 March 1994, 11 (Sphinx) Bty RA and Headquarters Bty 16
Regiment RA amalgamated to form 11 (Sphinx) Headquarter Bty RA. In August 1995 the Battery along with Regiment return to Centaur Barracks Home of the Royal Artillery, Woolwich, London. In 1998 the Battery along with the Regiment moved up the road to Napier Lines, where they remain to this day.



:. 20 Commando Battery

Commando Dagger20 Commando Battery originated from No 7 Company, 4th Battalion Royal Artillery which was formed in 1771. The Company fought in the American War of Independence notably at the defence of Penascola in 1781. They also fought in Canada during the Second American War. During the Second World War the Battery was stationed at Ceylon.

20 Commando Battery joined 29 Commando Regiment in 1964. In 1971 the Battery was put into suspended animation until 1990 when it was reformed as 20 Battery, part of 16th Regiment Royal Artillery.

The Battery resumed its commando role in support of 3 Commando Brigade on 1st April 1992, joining 22nd Regiment at the same time.


:. 15 (Headquarters) Battery

15 HQ Battery Crest15 (Headquarters) Battery originated as No 7 Company 2nd Battalion Royal Artillery, formed in 1757. The Battery served at the Battle of The Island of Martinique in the West Indies in 1759 and at the Siege of Sebastapol in the Crimean War in 1854. The Battery fought in the Second World War and then joined 50th Regiment Royal Artillery. The Battery joined 22nd Regiment as the Headquarters Battery on 31st March 1994.


:: Here and There :.

Ex Red Dragon

Exercise Red Dragon 1984


53 Battery Mascot 'Yogi' 1968

HM Queen

HM visits Dortmund 1984

Acrobat Logo



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Click here to view the history behind the Louisburg honour title