4th Regiment Royal Artillery

The 4th Regiment Royal Artillery is a regiment of the Royal Artillery in the British Army. It was formed in 1939 as 4th Regiment Royal Horse Artillery before being redesignated in 1961. It is currently based at Alanbrooke Barracks in Topcliffe and serves in the light field artillery role, equipped with 105mm light guns. The regiment's tactical groups can direct air, rocket, and artillery support from other formations, services, or allies.[1]

4th Regiment Royal Horse Artillery
4th Regiment Royal Artillery
Active31 May 1939  present
Allegiance United Kingdom
Branch British Army
TypeArtillery Regiment
RoleField artillery
Size6 Batteries
Garrison/HQAlanbrooke Barracks, North Yorkshire
Nickname(s)The North East Gunners
ColorsBlack & Gold
EquipmentL118 light gun
Website4 Regiment Royal Artillery

The regiment moved from Roberts Barracks in Osnabruck, Germany at the end of 2008 where it had previously been stationed for over 20 years. The regiment's main recruiting area is north-eastern England, and significant effort has been put into re-establishing links, especially to the city of Sunderland where the regiment holds the Freedom of the City. These strong links to the local area gave the regiment its nickname The North East Gunners.[2]


In 1939, the Regiment was formed as 4th Regiment Royal Horse Artillery (RHA) at Helmieh, Egypt on 28 May 1939. The original Batteries were C Battery, F (Sphinx) Battery, and G Battery (Mercer's Troop), drawn from independent commands in India[3] and equipped with the Ordnance QF 25 pounder. During the Battle of Sidi Rezegh in the Western Desert on 23 November 1941, Brigadier John Charles Campbell, who only a few months earlier had been commanding 4th RHA, won the Victoria Cross.[4]

After World War Two, in 1947, 4th Regiment RHA was based in Germany at Dorset Barracks in Kiel. By 1948, the regiment moved to Alma Barracks at Blackdown Camp and in 1951, the regiment moved to Barracks at Hohne. In 1961, the Regiment became 4th Regiment, Royal Artillery, with three batteries moving to 33rd Parachute Light Regiment Royal Artillery, which immediately became 7th Parachute Regiment Royal Horse Artillery. 4th Regiment RA gained 29 (Corunna), 88 (Arracan) and 97 Battery (Lawson’s Company) as gun batteries and was posted to Hong Kong.[5]

In 1965, the Regiment deployed on operations to the Malayan Peninsula. It saw active service from February to April and during the confrontation with Indonesia in Borneo until November. By 1966, the Regiment resumed service in West Germany, moving to Munsterlager in support of 1st Armoured Division. During the 1970s, the Regiment served three emergency tours of Northern Ireland in 1971, 1972, 1974, and 1976. In 1977, The Regiment replaced 7th RHA in Aldershot in support of 6 Field Force and equipped with the 105mm Light Gun adopted the parachute role. In 1981, 29 (Corunna) Battery deployed to Long Kesh (HMP Maze) in Northern Ireland while in 1982, two gun batteries and Regimental HQ with mortar locating radar and intelligence section deployed to the South Atlantic as part of the task force to retake the Falkland Islands.

During 1984, The Regiment moved to Osnabrück equipped with the M109 155mm Self-propelled gun, remaining in support of the 1st Armoured Division and in 1986, 88 (Arracan) Battery deployed to Long Kesh (HMP Maze) in Northern Ireland. By 1991, The Regiment undertook an emergency tour of Northern Ireland as the Tyrone Roulement Battalion. Later, in 1994, it deployed to Belfast, Northern Ireland. Equipped with the AS90 gun on return to Osnabruck and in 1997, batteries of the Regiment deployed to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

In 2004, parts of the regiment deployed to Iraq for Operation TELIC 5 where they were involved in the reconstruction of Basra. Two years later, the Regiment deployed on Operation TOSCA on peacekeeping duties as part of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP). In 2007, the Regiment began its conversion to the 105mm Light Gun and then deployed for Operation HERRICK 7 in Afghanistan and later in 2008 it moved from Osnabrück to Topcliffe. It deployed on Operation HERRICK 12 in Afghanistan in 2010 and in 2012, the Regiment returned to Afghanistan for the final time for Operation HERRICK 17.

Under the initial Army 2020 reforms, the Regiment was placed under Force Troops Command and tasked to support the Adaptable Force. Under the later Army 2020 Refine reforms, the regiment will comprise artillery fire observers, joint terminal attack controllers, intelligence, surveillance, targeting, acquisition, and reconnaissance (ISTAR) operators, and fire-planning staff.[1] The Regiment's Army Reserve pairing is with 103 Regiment RA, based in the North West of England.[6]

In 2019 the regiment was deployed to the Republic of Cyprus as part of the army's Operation Tosca, they participation was part of the wider "Operation Tosca 30". As part of this operation the regiment was joined by 2 MERCIAN and 1 PWRR which are permanently based on the island. On 12 November they returned to their barracks in North Yorkshire and granted UN operational medals by their commanding officers.[7][8]

Current sub-units

The regiment commands the following batteries:[9]

Forever Fourth

Forever Fourth is the Regimental charity for 4th Regiment Royal Artillery. The charity charter is:

"To provide immediate and short term financial assistance to 4 Regt RA personnel and their families in the event of serious injury or fatality sustained on or training for operations."


  1. "UK Strike Brigades to have no artillery (citing IHS Jane's article 66432)". Pakistan Defence Forum. 21 December 2016. Retrieved 23 November 2019.
  2. "The North East Gunners". Ministry of Defence (United Kingdom). Retrieved 23 May 2013.
  3. Clarke 1993, p. 134
  4. "War Office 3rd February, 1942". The London Gazette (2nd supplement). No. 35442. 30 January 1942. p. 545.
  5. "4th Regiment Royal Artillery". British Army units 1945 on. Retrieved 10 May 2014.
  6. "Army 2020" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 August 2017. Retrieved 20 July 2017.
  7. at 7:00pm, 12th November 2019. "Soldiers Receive Medals For UN Peacekeeping Mission". Forces Network. Retrieved 13 November 2019.
  8. "Cyprus". www.army.mod.uk. Retrieved 13 November 2019.
  9. "4 Regiment Batteries". Ministry of Defence (United Kingdom). Retrieved 23 May 2013.
  10. Look North, BBC, 29 November 2013


  • Clarke, W.G. (1993). Horse Gunners: The Royal Horse Artillery, 200 Years of Panache and Professionalism. Woolwich: The Royal Artillery Institution. ISBN 09520762-0-9.
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