Royal Glamorgan Artillery Militia

The Royal Glamorgan Artillery Militia was a part-time reserve unit of Britain's Royal Artillery based at Swansea in Glamorgan, South Wales, from 1854 to 1909.

Royal Glamorgan Artillery Militia
2nd Brigade, Western Division, RA
Glamorgan Artillery (Western Division) RA
Glamorgan Royal Garrison Artillery (M)
Country United Kingdom
Branch Militia
RoleGarrison Artillery
Part ofWestern Division, RA


The long-standing national Militia of the United Kingdom was revived by the Militia Act of 1852, enacted during a period of international tension. As before, units were raised and administered on a county basis, and filled by voluntary enlistment (although conscription by means of the Militia Ballot might be used if the counties failed to meet their quotas). Training was for 56 days on enlistment, then for 21–28 days per year, during which the men received full army pay. Under the Act, Militia units could be embodied by Royal Proclamation for full-time home defence service in three circumstances:[1][2][3][4]

  • 1. 'Whenever a state of war exists between Her Majesty and any foreign power'.
  • 2. 'In all cases of invasion or upon imminent danger thereof'.
  • 3. 'In all cases of rebellion or insurrection'.

The 1852 Act introduced Artillery Militia units in addition to the traditional infantry regiments. Their role was to man coastal defences and fortifications, relieving the Royal Artillery (RA) for active service.[1][2]


The unit first appeared in the Army List in September 1854 but it was not until December that it was formed with three batteries and its commanding officer appointed. He was Lieutenant-Colonel Evan Morgan, a former officer of The Rocket Troop, Royal Horse Artillery, who had served in the Peninsular War. The new corps' headquarters was established at Swansea. In August 1855 the unit was awarded the privilege of styling itself the Royal Glamorgan Artillery Militia (following the Royal Glamorgan Light Infantry Militia).[5][6]

It was reported[7] that the unit would be employed exclusively in defending the coast of Glamorgan – under the 1852 Act the Militia were liable for service anywhere in the United Kingdom – which may explain why it was never embodied during the Crimean War or the Indian Mutiny.[5]

After Lt-Col Morgan retired and became the unit's Honorary Colonel, Captain James Simpson Ballard was promoted to commandant, first as Major (21 April 1871), then as Lt-Col (1 January 1875).[6]

The Artillery Militia was reorganised into 11 divisions of garrison artillery in 1882, and the Glamorgan unit became the 2nd Brigade, Western Division, RA. By this time the establishment had been increased to four batteries. After another reorganisation in 1889 the title was altered to Glamorgan Artillery (Western Division) RA.[1][5][6][8][9]

From 1902 most units of the Militia artillery formally became part of the Royal Garrison Artillery, the Glamorgan unit taking the title of Glamorgan RGA (M).[1][5][6]


The unit was only embodied for home defence once:[5][6]


After the Boer War, the future of the Militia was called into question. There were moves to reform the Auxiliary Forces (Militia, Yeomanry and Volunteers) to take their place in the six Army Corps proposed by St John Brodrick as Secretary of State for War. Some batteries of Militia Artillery were to be converted to field artillery. However, little of Brodrick's scheme was carried out.[10][11]

Under the sweeping Haldane Reforms of 1908, the Militia was replaced by the Special Reserve, a semi-professional force whose role was to provide reinforcement drafts for Regular units serving overseas in wartime. Although the Glamorgan RGA (M) transferred to the Special Reserve Royal Field Artillery, all these units were disbanded in March 1909.[1][5][12][13][14]

Honorary Colonels

The following served as Honorary Colonel of the unit:[6]


  1. Litchfield, pp. 1–7.
  2. Dunlop, pp. 42–5.
  3. Grierson, pp. 27–8.
  4. Spiers, Army & Society, pp. 91–2.
  5. Litchfield, pp. 91–3.
  6. Army List, various dates.
  7. Army and Navy Gazette, 3 January 1857, quoted in Litchfield, p 91.
  8. Litchfield, Appendix 5.
  9. Spiers, Late Victorian Army, pp. 63–4.
  10. Dunlop, pp. 131–40, 158-62.
  11. Spiers, Army & Society, pp. 243–2, 254.
  12. Dunlop, pp. 270–2.
  13. Spiers, Army & Society, pp. 275–7.
  14. Litchfield, Appendix 8.
  15. London Gazette, 16 April 1895.
  16. Burke's, 'Dunraven'.


  • Burke's Peerage, Baronetage and Knightage, 100th Edn, London, 1953.
  • Col John K. Dunlop, The Development of the British Army 1899–1914, London: Methuen, 1938.
  • Lt-Col James Moncrieff Grierson (Col Peter S. Walton, ed.), Scarlet into Khaki: The British Army on the Eve of the Boer War, London: Sampson Low, 1899/London: Greenhill, 1988, ISBN 0-947898-81-6.
  • Norman E.H. Litchfield, The Militia Artillery 1852–1909 (Their Lineage, Uniforms and Badges), Nottingham: Sherwood Press, 1987, ISBN 0-9508205-1-2.
  • Edward M. Spiers, The Army and Society 1815–1914, London: Longmans, 1980, ISBN 0-582-48565-7.
  • Edward M. Spiers, The Late Victorian Army 1868–1902, Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1992/Sandpiper Books, 1999, ISBN 0-7190-2659-8.

External sources

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