Royal Australian Artillery

The Royal Regiment of Australian Artillery, normally referred to as the Royal Australian Artillery (RAA), is a Regiment of the Australian Army descended from the original colonial artillery units prior to Australia's federation. Australia's first guns were landed from HMS Sirius and a small earthen redoubt built, near the present day Macquarie Place, to command the approaches to Sydney Cove. The deployment of these guns represents the origins of artillery in Australia. These and subsequent defences, as well as field guns, were operated by marines and the soldiers of infantry regiments stationed in Australia. The first Royal Artillery unit arrived in Australia in 1856 and began a succession of gunner units which ended with the withdrawal of the imperial forces in 1870 resulting in the raising of the Victorian Artillery Corps in Melbourne in 1870 and the New South Wales Artillery in Sydney in 1871. The First World War saw the raising of 60 field, 20 howitzer and two siege batteries along with the heavy and medium trench mortar batteries. Until 19 September 1962 the Australian Artillery was referred to as the 'Royal Australian Artillery', however on this date HM Queen Elizabeth II granted the RAA the title of 'The Royal Regiment of Australian Artillery'. The Regiment today consists of Regular and Reserve units.

Royal Regiment of Australian Artillery
Cap badge of the Royal Australian Artillery
Active1 March 1901 – present
BranchAustralian Army
Size5 regiments
Nickname(s)The 9 Mile Snipers
Motto(s)Ubique Quo Fas et Gloria Ducunt (everywhere where right and glory lead)
MarchQuick – Royal Artillery Quick March
Slow – Royal Artillery Slow March
Anniversaries1 August (Regimental Birthday).
Captain-GeneralHM The Queen
Red over blue.

Regular Army

Unlike their British and Canadian relations, there are no regiments of horse artillery in the order of battle of the Royal Australian Artillery. The Australian Regular Army came into being in 1947, while prior to this artillery units were predominantly militia based. The permanent artillery consisted of one field battery, 'A' Field Battery, which now perpetuates the New South Wales Artillery raised on 1 August 1871, HQ P Anti-Aircraft Battery with 1st, 2nd and 3rd AA Cadres under command, the independent 4th and 5th AA Cadres, HQ 1st, 2nd and 3rd Heavy Brigades and the 1st to 13th Heavy Batteries.[1] Prior to the Second World War heavy artillery, later called coast artillery, units were established at strategic locations around the coastline, however these units were progressively phased out by 1962. During the Second World War, the RAA raised in excess of 70 regiments of field, medium, anti-tank, anti-aircraft and survey artillery, and in excess of 200 anti-aircraft and coast artillery batteries with their attendant anti-aircraft group or fire command headquarters in the fixed defences. Many saw action in the Middle East, Malaya and Southwest Pacific theatres, with two field regiments, one anti-tank regiment, one independent anti-tank battery, an anti-aircraft battery and two coast batteries being captured by the Japanese in Singapore, Ambon, Timor and New Britain while serving as part of the 8th Division.

The present School of Artillery (completed in 1998) is located in Puckapunyal in central Victoria and maintains modern training facilities. The School of Artillery is co-located with the Australian Army's Headquarters Combined Arms Training Centre. 53rd Battery, Royal Australian Artillery supports courses run by the School of Artillery.

Major units of the Royal Australian Artillery include:[2]

Army Reserve

Banners of the Royal Regiment of Australian Artillery

The Royal Regiment of Australian Artillery is the only Regiment of Artillery of the nations of the Commonwealth of Nations to have been presented with The Banner of Queen Elizabeth II.

The Queen's Banner was presented to the Regiment on 1 August 1971, replacing the King's Banner. The silver plaque fixed to the Banner pike reads "Presented by Her Most Gracious Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Captain General of The Regiment of Royal Australian Artillery, to replace the Banner presented by His Majesty King Edward VII and in Honour of the Centenary of the Regiment 1971."[5]

The King's Banner was presented in November 1904 by the Governor General Lord Northcote.[6] The silver plaque reads "Presented by His Gracious Majesty the King Emperor to the Royal Australian Artillery in recognition of the services rendered to the Empire in South Africa 1904". The artillery units or sub-units that served in this war were A Battery, NSW Regiment RAA, and the Machine Gun Section, Queensland Regiment RAA, although many Gunners, permanent and militia, enlisted in the various colonial contingents, and after Federation the battalions of Australian Commonwealth Horse, that served in South Africa.


  • Battle Honour – UBIQUE – Latin :meaning "Everywhere".[7]
  • Captain General of the Royal Regiment of Australian Artillery – Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.[5]
  • Head of Regiment – the senior serving RAA officer who is appointed by the Chief of Army to be his adviser on RAA Regimental matters.[5]
  • Motto – "QUO FAS ET GLORIA DUCUNT" – Meaning 'Whither right and glory lead'. The motto of the RAA from 1903 was CONSENSU STABILES, meaning "Strong in Agreement", previously carried by the Queensland Regiment of RAA.[5] The permanent, militia and volunteer artillery units of the Australian colonies and the Australian Commonwealth have carried many mottoes in the past. The motto QUO FAS ET GLORIA DUCUNT was granted to the RAA by HM King George VI in December 1949 and notification of approval was given in AAO 6/1950.[5]
  • The Regimental Colours – In times past infantry Regiments carried Colours to serve as rallying points in battle. The rallying point in battle for Gunners is their guns. Thus the guns are the artillery Colours. Abandoning guns is, in the Artillery considered tantamount to abandoning colours in other combat Corps although in reality the RAA has had to abandon guns on several occasions in the past as a result of their destruction or their inability to be removed from their gun positions. There has been no shame associated with these actions, in all cases the guns are rendered unserviceable prior to abandonment.
  • Current Australian manufactured guns symbolically have the national Coat of Arms engraved on the barrels.
  • Troops stand to attention when being passed by the guns when on parade as the guns are the ceremonial colours of Artillery.
  • It is considered rude and insulting to the colours to lean on or rest against a gun.
  • Patron Saint – Saint Barbara, Protector from fire and explosion.
  • Regimental Birthday – 1 August.
  • Regimental Marching Tune – "The British Grenadiers".
  • Takes precedence on parade after units of the Royal Australian Armoured Corps. Artillery units on parade with their guns take place to the right of units parading without their guns.[5]
  • The hat badge of the Royal Australian Artillery was approved in June 1930 with the battle honour UBIQUE in the upper scroll surmounted by an Imperial crown, and the motto CONSENSU STABILES and the word AUSTRALIA in the lower scrolls. In 1951 a design with QUO FAS ET GLORIA DUCUNT replaced the wording in the lower scrolls but this was never manufactured or issued. The current design with the St Edwards crown and QUO FAS ET GLORIA DUCUNT in the lower scrolls was approved in 1954.[5]
  • Officers and Warrant Officers Class One wear a bursting 7-flamed grenade with a scroll bearing the Battle Honour UBIQUE on the collars of ceremonial uniforms. Other ranks wear a collar badge comprising the cypher 'RAA' above a scroll bearing the RAA motto.[5]
  • Ceremonial colours – Red over blue.
  • Regimental lanyard colour – White.[8] This colour was officially adopted in 1952 by officers, warrant officers and non-commissioned officers of the RAA who were required to carry whistles as part of their duties and the lanyard was worn looped around the right shoulder. [9] In 1950, officers, warrant officers, and non-commissioned officers of the RAA required to carry whistles in the exercise of their command functions had been authorised to wear a braided scarlet lanyard but although the item was supplied, it is thought that this instruction was widely ignored.[10] In 1956 wearing of the white lanyard was extended to all ranks.[11] A Battery RAA were given permission to wear their lanyard on the left shoulder in 1963, confirming an unofficial practice continued from 1931, and perpetuating a local authority for other ranks of both 7th Light Horse Regiment and the then 1st Battery, Royal Australian Field Artillery, to wear a white lanyard while they were functioning as the escort to the Duke of York, the future King George VI, when he opened the first Parliament in Canberra in 1927.[12] The first lanyards issued to Australian artillerymen, from as early as 1886, were for permanent gunners to carry their clasp knife and were never worn on full dress or ceremonial uniform nor were they worn by officers. They were never bleached or blancoed white and do not appear to have been worn looped around the shoulder. During the Great War gunners of the Australian Imperial Force serving abroad began to unofficially adopt white or khaki braided cord lanyards, or plaited leather lanyards, on their best uniforms while on leave or for carrying whistles. There was no laid down policy and these were worn on either left or right shoulder according to personal preference. After the war the practice was continued by other ranks of the permanent and militia artillery and the lanyard was usually worn on the left shoulder. This practice was unofficial although in 1925 personnel who carried whistles on duty were allowed to wear lanyards in the colour of the uniform, i.e., khaki.[13] In 1931 these lanyards were authorised to be worn on the right shoulder although 1st Field Cadre RAA continued to wear them on the left.[14] White lanyards were worn unofficially by artillery, light horse, Corps of Signals, infantry, and Australian Army Service Corps, during the 1920s and 1930s and the practice ceased at the start of the Second World War. The Australian Tank Corps wore it on the left shoulder during the 1930s. The white lanyard worn by the Royal Australian Artillery has nothing whatsoever to do with the Boer War, nor was it ever used for carrying pocket knives or fuze keys. It began being worn unofficially as an embellishment during the Great War, became a functional item for carrying whistles after the Second World War, and subsequently reverted to an embellishment.


Order of precedence

Preceded by
Royal Australian Armoured Corps
Australian Army Order of Precedence Succeeded by
Royal Australian Engineers

See also


  1. The Army List, Part I, 1 February 1939
  2. Kennedy, Mitch; Doran, Mark (3 March 2011). "Changes in Artillery". Army News. Canberra: Australian Department of Defence. p. 3. Retrieved 7 January 2012.
  3. Furini, Craig (28 June 2017). "Formation of 9th Regiment Royal Australian Artillery". 100 Years of ANZAC: The Spirit Lives: 2014–2018. Government of South Australia. Retrieved 17 August 2017.
  4. "Regiment's new life". Army News. 3 May 2018. p. 17.
  5. RAA SO 2014
  6. General Order No 243 of 20 October 1904
  7. RAA Standing Orders 2014
  8. Army Standing Orders for Dress
  9. Standing Orders for Dress 1952
  10. NAA: SP1008/1; 544/2/7118, Lanyards, Whistle, Braided, Military Board (MGO) letter B2531 of 10 Mar 50, para 3
  11. Standing Orders for Dress 1958
  12. Army Dress Manual 1963
  13. Standing Orders for Clothing, Part 3, 1925
  14. Standing Orders for Dress 1931
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