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1914-18 War • Royal Artillery


• It has been estimated that about one fifth of the British Army was serving in the Royal Artillery

R.A.SergeantRoyal Artillery cap badge
Sergeant farrier
The two distinct branches of the Royal Artillery in Word War One were.
• Royal Field Artillery
who fired the smaller mobile Field Guns.
These had wooden wheels, were smaller calibre and positioned closer to the front line. The RFA moved frequently using teams of horses.
• The Royal Garrison Artillery
who fired the heavy long range guns. The RGA guns were in fixed positions difficult to move and heavy calibre. They fired large diameter shells.

Both branches wore the same cap badge shown above and wore either RGA or RFA as their shoulder title. Unless the shoulder title is visible there are no other indications of the branch to which a Gunner belonged.
In the artillery:-
• Cannons are called Guns
• Privates are called Gunner. (Gnr for short)
• Lance Corporals are called Lance Bombadier.
• Corporals are called Bombadier.
Many Regiments wear lanyards A loop of knotted string round the shoulder the Artillery wear a white lanyard.
To envisage a gunner's army life we should know whether he was RGA or RFA. If his boots are visible and he has an oval of leather covering his laces he is wearing spurs. In many photographs Artillery gunners are seen wearing a leather bandolier shoulder  belt of bullets. of ammunition pouches diagonally across the chest. Their duties made wearing of normal infantry waistbelt ammunition pouches difficult.
Spurs and bandoliers both point towards RFA but I have seen photographs of RGA Gunners wearing both.

The Gunner above right has a deep shoulder title which will probably mean he is a territorial. He is wearing the 1917 soft cap and a leather bandolier.
Royal Artillery Sergeants as seen above left, wear a small brass cannon above their three stripes which carries no additional meaning. We can see from the fact he has a horse shoe and cannon above his stripes that he is a Farrier Puts horseshoes on the horses Sergeant probably from the RFA. He also wears a white lanyard and the ribbon for the 1914 Star.

• As a rule of thumb the RFA had a greater involvement with horses.

RFARGA with bandolierTerritorial RFA-London