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The Royal Regiment of Australian Artillery: RAA


  • Unlike the infantry Regiments of the line, the Artillery has no Regimental Colours - its colours are the guns themselves. 


  • Nor does the Artillery have battle honours - its single battle honour is the one word UBIQUE (EVERYWHERE).

UBIQUE. Everywhere    QUO FAS ET GLORIA DUCUNT Where Right and Glory Lead

  • In the Australian Army nearly everyone and everything gets a nick name.
    • The Artillery get called
      • Drop Shorts or
        • Nine Mile Snipers.

for Colonial Artillery

for Artillery in Viet Nam






Battle Honours seek to record occasions when a unit has distinguished itself in war.

Commemorations of such notable exploits of a unit's past help create and maintain a pride within itself.

Tasmanian Artillery Badge, pre Federation

The first Battle Honour, or Honorary Distinction as it was correctly called, was awarded in the British Army to the 18th Royal Irish Regiment by King William III for its service at the siege of Namur in 1695. Thereafter the custom of granting Battle Honours became more common.

All the regiments which took part in the defence of Gibraltar (during the Great Siege of 1779-83) were allowed to bear the title "GIBRALTAR". This included a number of batteries from the Royal Artillery. The Gunners were also awarded the Battle Honour WATERLOO.

Tom Roberts established 'Curlew camp" at Sirius Cove in Mosman by the end of the 1890s. While camped there, concentrating on painting outdoors, Roberts was commissioned to paint three works depicting the New South Wales military forces, commanded by his friend, Major General Edward Thomas Hutton, from 1893 - 1896. 'A' Battery was formed in 1871 and later served in the Boer War. This work is shows Artillery Battery manoeuvres at Campbelltown.

In 1833, the Gunners were granted two mottos, "UBIQUE" and "QUO FAS ET GLORIA DUCUNT". It was stated that "UBIQUE" (Everywhere) was also to be granted as a Battle Honour and was to substitute for "all other terms of distinction for the whole Regiment". This was the end of all other Battle Honours in the Royal Artillery.

A committee was assembled in 1882, under Major General Sir Archibald Allison, to review all the past history of the British Army and to regularise the holding and the granting of Battle Honours, less the Royal Artillery who had already been given the single Battle Honour UBIQUE.

The Honour is unique to the Gunners. It simply means that wherever there is a battle the Gunners are there, serving and supporting.

The Royal Regiment of Australian Artillery was granted the Battle Honour, by His Majesty King George VI, in January 1950 (it is not a Battle Honour for the engineers). This included 6 Field Regiment Royal Australian Artillery CMF who were granted approval and from then on wore a replica badge to that of the famous parent corps, the Royal Artillery, and bears the same two mottos - "UBIQUE" (Everywhere) which takes the place of individual battle honours of an infantry regiment, and "QUO FAS ET GLORIA DUCUNT". Unlike the infantry regiments of the line, the Artillery has no regimental colours - its colours are the guns themselves. Nor does the Artillery have battle honours - its battle honour is the one word EVERYWHERE.

Battle honours are not to be confused with "Honour Titles" which are borne by a number of batteries in the Royal Artillery - an example is 171 (The Broken Wheel) Battery RA.

There is a provision made in the RAA Standing Orders for batteries to be granted Honour Titles. The main rule applying for the granting of these titles is "Place names should be limited to occasions of historic interest, and even then be awarded only in outstanding cases where the susceptibilities of other batteries are not likely to be hurt".


The Royal Regiment of Australian Artillery was granted the two mottos of The Royal Regiment of Artillery in 1950 by His Majesty King George VI: "UBIQUE" (Everywhere) and "QUO FAS ET GLORIA DUCUNT" (Where Right and Glory Lead).

The original motto of the NSW Artillery was "SEMPER FIDELIS" (Always Faithful). There is a line of thought that the motto in fact was "SEMPER PARATUS" (Always Ready) but this appears to be incorrect, even though 'A' Field Battery has adopted the latter.

After Federation the motto was changed to "CONSENSU STABILES". There seems to be three opinions as to the translation: Strong in Agreement, Firm and Ready and, the most accepted, Firm and Steadfast.

The Gunner motto used by Tasmanian Garrison Artillery was "PRO ARIS ET FOCIS" (For Fields and Hearths).


The lanyard had a genuine purpose in war. It was originally a piece of cord, approximately a metre in length, used to secure a jack-knife which was issued to both the artillery and the cavalry. The knife had a number of uses; the blade was for cutting loose horses which became entangled in the head and heel ropes of the picket lines, and the spike of the knife was used as a hoof pick, for the removal of stones from horses hooves. A fuse key was also attached to the lanyard.

Hanging loose, the lanyard soon became dirty and for the day-to-day barrack routine it looked out of place on an otherwise smart uniform; so for peace time purposes the lanyard was plaited, and whitened with Blanco, to match both the white bandolier and the white waist belt worn by the gunners of the day. The lanyard was worn on the left shoulder with the end containing both the knife and fuse key tucked into the left breast pocket.

In 1920 the lanyard was moved to the right shoulder, simply because of the difficult problem of trying to remove the knife from the pocket underneath the bandolier. By now the bandolier and belt, worn with battle dress, had long ceased to be white, whilst the lanyard remained so.

The knife was removed in 1933 and the lanyard then became a straight cord, worn purely as an ornamental item of dress.

In 1955 it was, for a short time, reintroduced in the plaited style, but it quickly went back to the straight lanyard currently worn today.

There is simply no truth either to any other popular story regarding the Artillery's white lanyard.


The Royal Regiment of Australian Artillery (RAA) is very very closely linked to the (British) Royal Regiment of Artillery (RA)

The history of the Royal Regiment of Artillery is the history of the British Army. Our motto is "Ubique" and on land, sea and air the Gunners have taken part in virtually every campaign and battle involving the Army since Crecy in 1346.

In peacetime, guns were kept in Castles and were looked after by Master Gunners, skilled in their manufacture and so most knowledgeable in their use. In wartime, men were recruited and trained into a Trayne of Artillery, until on the 26th May 1716 the first two Companies of Artillery were formed by Royal Warrant at Woolwich.
The Crimea, the Indian Mutiny, the Boer War, the two World Wars, the Falklands and the Gulf War were all fought by Gunners.

We have produced Ten Field Marshals and the Victoria Cross has been won by Sixty-two members of the Regiment. It is a history of which we are very proud and a story worthy of the telling.

The Cap Badge
The guns of the Royal Artillery are the Regiment's Colours, in the same way as the flags and guidons of Infantry Regiments are theirs, leading them into battle. The Colours represent pride in the Regiment, so the guns are protected and retained at all costs. If the situation demands that they are left behind they must be disabled or destroyed. The gun depicted on the cap badge is a 9pdr Rifled Muzzle Loader of about 1871, and the rammer used to ram the charge into the muzzle is also seen, to the left of the carriage wheel. Ubique, surmounting the gun, means "Everywhere", and the Motto Quo Fas et Gloria Ducunt, "Where right and glory lead us"

St. Barbara is the Patron Saint of The Royal Regiment of Artillery. Due to the manner of her death, St. Barbara is also traditionally the patron of armourers, gunsmiths, artillerymen, miners and anyone else who worked with cannon and explosives. She is invoked against thunder and lightning and all accidents arising from explosions of gunpowder. 

  • St. Barbara’s Day is traditionally celebrated on the 4th December.

Barbara (later St Barbara) lived in the 4th century and brought up as a heathen. A tyrannical father, Dioscorus, had kept her jealously secluded in a lonely tower which he had built for that purpose. 

Here, in her forced solitude, she gave herself to prayer and study, and contrived to receive instruction and Baptism in secret by a Christian priest.

Barbara resisted her father's wish that she marry. Then on one occasion, during her father's absence, Barbara had three windows inserted into a bathhouse her father was constructing. 

Her purpose was thereby to honour the Trinity.

Dioscorus was enraged by her action and by her conversion. So he himself denounced her before the civil tribunal. She was horribly tortured, and at last was beheaded. Her own father, merciless to the last, acted as her executioner. God, however, speedily punished her persecutors. While her soul was being borne by angels to Paradise, a flash of lightning struck Dioscorus, and he was hurried before the judgment seat of God. 



1. In the beginning there was chaos and the chaos was the Infantry, for the Infantry was alone.

2. And fear was with the Infantry and they cried unto the Lord saying, "Lord, save us for we are afraid."

3. And the Lord heard their grunts and set some of the Infantry on beasts of burden and these he called Cavalry, and the Cavalry became Armour.

4. And when the Lord had seen what he had done he laughed saying, "Well, you can't win them all."

5. The Infantry and the Armour again cried out to the Lord saying, "Lord, save us for we are afraid." And the Lord heard their cried and decided to end their weeping.

6. And the Lord said unto them, "Lo and behold, I send you a race of men noble in heart and spirit." And the Lord created the Gunners.

7. And the Lord said unto the Infantry and Armour, "When it is dark, the Gunners shall light your way."

8. And when you need smoke, there shall be smoke, and when you need HE, WP, H & I and counter-battery fire, all this ye shall have."

9. And the Lord gave the Gunners big guns and field guns, and the Infantry and Armour were jealous for they had naught.

10. And the Infantry cried out saying, "Lord, thou hast created the Infantry as Queen of Battles, but now thou hast made the Gunners King of Battles and well knowest thou what the King does to the Queen."

11. And the Lord replied, "Right on!"

12. And the Lord gave unto the Artillery rockets and missiles and, best of all, nukes. And when the Infantry and Armour saw this they fell to their knees in wonder saying, "Surely God is on the side of the greatest - THE GUNNERS."

13. And the Lord sayeth, "You got that right."

Now abideth Infantry, Armour, and Artillery; but the greatest of these is..."Artillery".


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