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101st (Northumbrian) Regiment Royal Artillery (Volunteers) is part of the Territorial Army (TA) and has sub units throughout Northumbria. It is equipped with M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) and Surveillance and Target Acquisition (STA). It is the only TA unit equipped with MLRS.

The Regiment's role is to provide reinforcements to the Regular Army for operations. Currently the Regiment is supporting Operation Herrick in Afghanistan.

Under Army 2020, its role will be more specific. All batteries will re-role to the GMLRS. It will pair with 39 RA until the end of March 2015, and then with 3 RHA afterwards. It also will support 1 RHA, 19 and 26 RA.[1]

Sub units[]

203 Elswick Battery[]

203 Bty is based in Blyth, Northumberland and is equipped with the MLRS system.


Formed on 31 January 1900, the Elswick Battery, as it was then known, marched to the Newcastle upon Tyne Town Hall, headed by the band, to be sworn in before the Lord Mayor of Newcastle.

The Battery was armed with 12 pounder guns manufactured by Armstrongs at Elswick. The guns had been paid for by Lady Meux, the eccentric brewery heiress. Later that year, the unit embarked for South Africa for service in the Second Boer War. In June 1901, the Battery returned to England with only 175 men of the original 246 that had embarked.

When the Territorial Army was reorganised in April 1967, three TA Batteries of the Royal Artillery in Blyth and Seaton Delaval were merged into a Battery to be based in Blyth, Northumberland.

During this period, the Battery was equipped with the BL 5.5 inch Medium Gun, converting to the 105mm Light Gun in 1980. In April 1992, the Battery was again reequipped, this time with FH-70 howitzers. In 1998, the Battery became one of only two Territorial Army Batteries to be equipped with the M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS).

204 (Tyneside Scottish) Battery[]

204 (Tyneside Scottish) Battery currently acts as a Surveillance and Target Acquisition (STA) Battery and uses some of the most modern equipment issued to a TA Unit. It also supplies a Troop to augment the Headquarters of HQ 1 Artillery Brigade.

204 Battery has supplied personnel for Operations in Iraq, Bosnia, Kosovo, Cyprus and Afghanistan.

Tyneside Scottish


The origins of the Tyneside Scottish are in the New Army (Kitchener's Army) and the call to arms in World War 1. The Recruitment to the British Army during World War I saw the raising of the Pals battalions. The Tyneside Scottish Committee was formed and raised the Tyneside Scottish Brigade of four service Battalions of the Northumberland Fusiliers. The Brigade's first major action was the Battle of the Somme, where it sustained a large number of casualties. The Brigade was subsequently brought up to strength and served at Armentiers, Battle of Arras (1917) and the final battles of 1918. The Brigade was disbanded in 1919.

In 1939, the TA expanded and the 9th Battalion Durham Light Infantry (DLI) duplicated to form the 12th Battalion (12 DLI);[3] this was authorised to be raised as the Tyneside Scottish. The Battalion immediately sought affiliation with a Scottish unit and became the 1st Battalion Tyneside Scottish, Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) (1TS). The Battalion deployed to France as part of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) and took part in the Dunkirk evacuation. Following a period of Home Defence, 1TS joined the 49th (West Riding) Division and was sent to Iceland. Returning to England in 1942, another period of Home Defence preceded the Invasion of Normandy in 1944. The Battalion were engaged in Operation Martlet, gaining the Battle Honour "Defence of Rauray". Following the battle, and subsequent actions in the Caen area, the Battalion was reduced to cadre strength and subsequently placed in suspended animation.

In 1947, on the reconstitution of the TA, the honour title passed to the Royal Artillery. Initially the title was held by 670th Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment, RA (Tyneside Scottish). In March 1955, the title passed to a battery in 439th Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment, RA; this battery was formed by the reduction of the 670th. Then, in April 1967, the battery was reduced to the Tyneside Scottish Troop of the 204th Medium Battery, 101st (Northumbrian) Regiment RA (Volunteers). In 1974, the title was adopted by the whole of 204 Battery.[4]

205 (3rd Durham Volunteer Artillery) Battery[]

205 Bty is based in South Shields and is equipped with the MLRS system.


In 1859, the Volunteer Force was created as a result of rising tensions on the European continent. An appeal was made to citizens to form Artillery Corps and Companies in maritime towns. This appeal resulted in the formation of the 3rd Durham Volunteer Artillery in South Shields in 1860. When the Royal Artillery divided in 1899, the unit became the 3rd Durham Royal Garrison Artillery (Volunteers).

On the formation of the Territorial Force (TF) in 1908, the 3rd Durham RGA transferred to the Royal Field Artillery and was designated as the 4th Durham Battery of the 4th Northumbrian Howitzer Brigade RFA (TF); and subtitled (County of Durham) in the following year. The Brigade mobilised in August 1914 and deployed to France in April 1915. In early May, the Brigade were the first territorial field gunners to engage in the Second Battle of Ypres. A reorganisation of Field artillery in 1916 saw the Brigade broken up; the 4th Durham Battery was transferred as D Battery, 250 (Northumbrian) Brigade [the former 1st Northumbrian Brigade] - the 5th Battery transferred as D Battery, 251 Brigade [the former 2nd Northumbrian Brigade].[5] The units would go on to take part in the Battle of the Somme, the Battle of Arras (1917), the Battle of Passchendaele and the final battles in 1918.

On the reforming of the territorials (now known as the TA) in 1920, the brigade became the 3rd (Northumbrian) Field Brigade RA (TA), which, in the following year, was redesignated as the 74th (Northumbrian) Field Brigade RA (TA). A reorganisation of Artillery Field Brigades in 1938 resulted in the formation of the 74th (Northumbrian) Field Regiment RA (TA), which was duplicated in 1939 to form the 125th (Northumbrian) Field Regiment RA (TA).[3]

The 74th Regiment mobilised as part of the divisional Artillery for the 50th (Northumbrian) Infantry Division,[6] supporting the 151st Infantry Brigade (United Kingdom) (The Durham Light Infantry Brigade), with whom they served from 1939 to 1944. The Regiment deployed to France in 1940 as part of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF)and returned to the UK during the Dunkirk evacuation.

In 1941, they embarked with the 8th Army for the Mediterranean and Middle East Theatre. Initially they took part in the Jock column actions to harass the enemy. Supporting 151 (DLI) Brigade they were engaged in the Battle of Gazala, breaking out to avoid capture through Mersa Matruh, though suffering many casualties. Following a refit, the Regiment was engaged in the Second Battle of El Alamein and followed by the assault on the Mareth Line. Joining the Italian Campaign (World War II), they landed in the Allied invasion of Sicily where they were engaged in the battle of Primosole Bridge (Operation Fustian) and the barrage across the Straits of Messina for the invasion of Italy.

The Regiment's next major action was D-Day and the Invasion of Normandy, where it landed on Gold Beach with the rest of 50th Northumbrian (Infantry) Division. They were subsequently involved in the battle for Caen (Operation Perch). Later service through North West Europe saw the Regiment involved in the liberation of Brussels and the battle of the Gheil bridgehead on the Albert Canal. In September 1944, the Regiment took part in Operation Market Garden. When the rest of the 50th Division returned to England in November 1944, 74 Regiment was attached to 49th (West Riding Division), which was engaged on the Grebbe line. Following the German surrender in May 1945, the Regiment remained in the Army of Occupation until 1946, when it returned to South Shields.

The 74th (Northumbrian) Field Regiment fought with distinction in some of the most decisive battles of the Second World and was awarded 3 DSOs,7 MCs and 8 MMs.

In the summer of 1940, the 125th (Northumbrian) Field Regiment converted to the 125th (Northumbrian) Anti-Tank Regiment. It deployed to the Far East and was captured in the fall of Singapore in February 1942.[7]

With the reconstitution of the TA in 1947, 74 Regiment reformed as 274 (Northumbrian) Field Regiment RA (TA) and 125 Regiment reformed as 325(Durham) L.A.A. Regiment RA (TA). Following subsequent amalgamations, 325 Regiment became part of 463 (Durham Light Infantry) Light Air Defence Regiment RA (TA). On the disbandment of Anti-Aircraft Command in 1955, 274 Regiment absorbed 487 H.A.A. Regiment RA (Durham) (TA) and 377 (Durham) Observation Regiment RA (TA).

In 1967, the TA became the Territorial Army Volunteer Reserve (TAVR). As part of this restructuring, 101 (Northumbrian) Medium Regiment RA (V) was formed. 205 Medium Battery was constituted from 274 Field and 463 LAA Regiments. In 1974, the honour title 3rd Durham Volunteer Artillery was adopted by the Battery.

Initially equipped with the BL 5.5 inch Medium Gun, the battery converted to the 105mm Light Gun in 1980 and to FH-70 in 1991. The Battery was the last to fire 101 Regiment's guns during the prestigious Queen's Cup, which they won for the second year running. The Battery therefore concluded 137 years service on the guns of the Royal Artillery as the premier Gun Battery in the Territorial Army. The following year, 205 Battery converted to a rocket Battery equipped with M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System; the first TA Battery to use that weapon system.

The Battery currently provides reinforcements for Operation Herrick in Afghanistan. The first firing of MLRS in Afghanistan by a formed troop from the Territorial Army was fired by a detachment from 205 Battery.

269 (West Riding) Battery[]

The West Riding Artillery is a Surveillance and Target Acquisition battery and is based at Carlton Barracks, Leeds. The battery supports 5th Regiment RA.


External links[]

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