Search through over a century of Royal Artillery records. The records include campaigns in Bosnia, Iraq and the First and Second World Wars. Discover your ancestor’s birth year, death date and obituary. The records include 27 Victoria Cross recipients.
Each record includes a transcript of details found in the original records. The amount of detail in each record could vary, but most will include the following:
The Royal Regiment of Artillery, more commonly known as the Royal Artillery, is the artillery arm of the British Army. Despite its name, the Royal Artillery is made up of a number of regiments. The first regular companies of artillery men were raised in 1716, by royal warrant of George 1 and the name Royal Artillery came along four years later.
By the time of the First World the Royal Artillery was split into three groups. The first group was a combination of the Royal Horse Artillery and the Royal Field Artillery. The second group was the Royal Garrison Artillery. And the final group was simply the Royal Artillery, responsible for supplies and the storage of ammunition. The Royal Artillery massively expanded during the First World War. In 1920 the rank of corporal was abolished and the rank of bombardier was instated. Until 1924 the three groups acted as separate companies but at this point they were once again joined as a single regiment. In 1938 Royal Artillery Brigades were renamed Regiments. During the Second World War there were over 1 million men serving in 960 gunner regiments. The RA also has an important role in air defence.
These records span 1850 to 2011 covering conflicts and military action including the Boer War, both World Wars, Borneo, Kosovo, Bosnia and Iraq.
Field Marshal Frederick Sleigh Roberts, 1st Earl Roberts, VC, KG, GCB, OM, GCSI, KStJ, VD, PC
Frederick Roberts was born in India, the son of Irish and Scottish parents. His father was General Roberts and his mother was Isabella Bunbury. Despite his father’s wishes for Frederick not to join the army, he did. During his career he served in the Indian Mutiny, Expedition to Abyssinia and the Second Anglo-Afghan War. He was one of the most successful commanders of the 19th century. He was the last Commander-in-Chief before the title was abolished in 1904.
Early in his military career he was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions during the Indian Mutiny as lieutenant in the Bengal Horse Artillery. In 1860 he became second captain and then brevet major. His career continued with more promotions, numerous medals and orders. Roberts published his autobiography, Forty-One Years in India in 1897.
He died of pneumonia in France during the First World War and was given a state funeral; one of only two non-Royals to lay in state at Westminster. Sir Winston Churchill was the other non-Royal to receive this honour. Both Frederick’s and his son’s Victoria Cross medals are held at the National Army Museum. Roberts and his son are one of three pairs of fathers and sons to both have received VC medals.