19/5 (GIBRALTAR 1779-1783) BATTERY ROYAL ARTILLERY
19/5 Battery is the most senior Battery in the Royal Artillery and was formed as
a result of the amalgamation of 19 (Gibraltar 1779-1783) Battery
and 5 (Gibraltar 1779-1783)
Battery in 1993.
19 Battery was the sole survivor of the two original
companies of Artillery formed at Woolwich on 26
May 1716. It was the senior Battery of the Royal Artillery. Of note, the Battery fought at Flanders (1743-1744), in the First American War (1757-1759), at the Siege of Gibraltar (1779-1783) and the Siege of Malta (1940-1943).
Since the end of the Second World War, the Battery served in Germany and was latterly a Missile Battery with 50 Missile Regiment
Royal Artillery, equipped with the Lance Missile.
5 Battery was the tenth most senior Battery of the Royal Artillery. It was formed in
1743 and during its early history saw service in the War of Austrian Succession - most notably at the Battle of Dettingen
- in Malta, Jamaica, at the Siege of Gibraltar (1779-1783), in Canada, Egypt, the Crimea and South Africa. During the First
World War the Battery served
in France throughout and fought in every major offensive. As a result of the Battery's gallant efforts in defence of the French and British trenches
- and later of the gun position itself - in the area of Pontavert, north of the River Aisne on the 26-27 May 1918, it was
awarded the Croix de Guerre avec Palme d’Or by the French Government. During the Second World War, 5 Battery served in the desert of North Africa, the jungles of India and Borneo and in Hong Kong. Since 1945, the Battery has served in Korea, Hong Kong, and Aden and has completed four operational tours in Northern Ireland. In 1982, the
Battery became the UK's Light Gun Battery in the
ACE Mobile Force (Land) (AMF(L)), exercising frequently on NATO's Northern and Southern Flanks in the extremes of weather
conditions from Arctic Norway to the hot arid Turkish summers.
19 Battery and 5 Battery were amalgamated on 1 April 1993 and continued in the AMF(L) role. The
new Battery enjoys the distinction
of being the senior Battery
of the Royal Artillery. It continues to hold the honour title of Gibraltar 1779-1783. Battery personnel uniquely also wear the Croix de Guerre medal ribbon under beret badges
and on dress uniforms in recognition of the action at Pontavert on 26-27 May 1918.
In 1995-1996 the
Battery completed a tour in Bosnia as part of the HQ Artillery AMF(L) Regimental deployment. On 1 April 1998 the Battery relinquished
its AMF(L) role and joined 19 Regiment Royal Artillery - The Highland Gunners - in Colchester who were part of 24 Airmobile
Brigade and were also equipped with the Light Gun. Shortly after the Battery's arrival, it deployed to Cyprus as part of the
Regiment's UN peacekeeping operational tour there. On its return from Cyprus the Battery converted to the airmobile role.
In 1999 members of the Battery's Tactical Group supporting the Royal Ghurkha Rifles spearheaded NATO's move into Kosovo.
In line with the
Strategic Defence Review of 1998, 19 Regiment Royal Artillery converted from Light Gun to AS90 and SAXON vehicles for the
Tactical Group in late 1999 and transferred from 24 Airmobile Brigade to the newly formed 12 Mechanised Brigade. The Regiment
completed the first pan-Balkans Artillery Regiment tour from January-July 2000 during which the Battery was deployed as part
of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards Battle Group in the Podujevo area of Kosovo. Although operating in an infantry role and
responsible for a large part of the Battle Group area, the Battery also exercised its role as Gunners frequently; the highlight
of this was the first ever operational firing of AS90 on 20 Apr 00 as part of a Swedish Battle Group Operation.
19/5 Battery is
currently equipped with six AS90 and the Battery Tactical Group converted from SAXON to the WARRIOR OP Vehicle in early 2001.
The Battery has
completed its move to Larkhill, and has deployed to Canada to take part in Exercise Buffalo Jump 1+2 in the summer of 2003.
(Info. from 19 Regt RA Website)