193RD GUNNERS DAY
28 September is the Gunners Day. The Indian Artillery owes its origin to the Royal Indian Artillery(RIA), formerly a part of the British Indian Army.
The origin traces back to 28 September 1827, when the first Bombay Artillery Battery was Raised. Currently this Bty is part of 57 Field Regiment.
SARVATRA IZZAT O IQBAL (Everywhere with Honour and Glory) is the Hindustani equivalent of the Royal Artillery Motto UBIQUE QUO FAST ET GLORIA DUCUNT (Everywhere that Right and Glory Lead), and it shares the same symbol, but with the Star of India, in place of the Royal Crown.
Our Hindustani Motto actually honours the memory of those Gunners of different religions who fought during the Indian Rebellion of 1857.
The Regiment of Artillery was Raised on 15th January 1935, when the first three Regiments originally A, B & C were authorised. It was initially called the Indian Regiment of Artillery, later on 01 November 1940, became the Regiment of Indian Artillery and then it became the Royal Regiment of Indian Artillery in October 1945, consequent to the brilliant performance of the Indian Gunners and its success in the Second World War.
After the Independence of our Country on 15 August 1947, and the Partition that followed, the Royal word was dropped from the Indian Artillery, thus from RIA, it became the Indian Artillery.
It will be interesting to note that the British Army has its own 14 Field Regiment Royal Artillery(Currently the Training and Support Regiment- TSR) at Larkhill School of Artillery in Wiltshire England.
This Regiment has two Batteries named after their India connection.
Its first bty, The Blazers 132(The Bengal Rocket Troop),& the 176(Abu Klea) Bty has its initial remote connections with the Battle of Plassey in 1757 The next Bty is the 24 Irish Battery The
Third Bty is the 34 Serangapattam Bty. This bty has its origin to the Battle of Seringapattam in April- May 1799 against Tipu Sultan
14 Field Regiment Royal Artillery was raised in Woolwich England in March 1900. It participated in the Battle of Keren in 1941, and then had been posted in India, Singapore, Korea and Aden as part of the Royal Indian Artillery from 1942 onwards till its return to Britain in 1947. This Regiment still maintains its India connection with great pride and honour.
That speaks volumes of their India lineage. There would definitely be other Regiments also with this lineage, but it needs to be ascertained. I did this because I Commanded the Indian 14 Field Regiment and also visited the Royal 14 Field Regiment in Larkhill UK.
Gunners are a Mounted Arm, Never remove their Belts, and are authorised to wear their Spurs also
The story is that in the closing of the 19th Century, some time in the 1880s or so, British Gunners were invited for a feast with the North West Frontier Tribals in the North West Frontier Province. During the food and drink, the tribals attacked the British Troops at that dinner itself and there was delay in a counter attack.
The Officers and men had removed their belts and attached weapons, making them unable to retaliate immediately & also to mount their Chargers.
An order was thus issued immediately thereafter
Gunners will never remove their belts, not even in the Officers Mess and will always be quick to Mount their Chargers and get ready for Action.
The Gunners/ Regiment of Artillery initially also used Grenades in the 17th Century. Hence the Gunners have had a Fused(Flaming) Grenade Seven Flamed. The Sappers/ Corps of Engineers used Grenades, and they have the same Grenade but it is Nine Flamed. We Gunners initially had it as the Collar Dog insignia, perhaps phased out now.
However some of our Stationery and Regiment Invitation Cards, Crockery and Cutlery is still embossed with the Artillery Grenade Insignia
Presumably this Tradition continues even now.
This Grenade was significant in the Royal Artillery to have their Marching Tunes for their Army Brass and Pipe Bands to play the British Grenadiers. The original British Military Bands of the Artillery have famous Marching Tunes like the
Royal Artillery Slow March, *
Voice of the Guns Quick March,
The Royal Artillery Slow March
Regimental Trot the Keel Row
We presently don’t have a typical Artillery Marching Tune for the Military Brass and Pipe Bands as in the British Army.
Hopefully we would soon have a distinguished Artillery Marching Tune to highlight the Voice of Guns of the Indian Artillery
As they say When in Trouble Call the Artillery
When we Speak
The Guns Speak,
When the Guns Speak
It’s the Voice of the Guns
The Ground and the Enemy Shudder
HAPPY GUNNERS DAY
GOOD LUCK & GOOD SHOOTING