The Band of the Royal Logistic Corps along with the Pipe and Drums of 19th Regiment Royal Artillery lead the way as the flag of 76 (Maudes) Battery Royal Artillery was lowered for the very last time at a ceremonial parade which was held today (Friday) at Army Training Centre Pirbright.
Commanding Officer, 2 Army Training Regt, Lieutenant Colonel Paul Blakesley MBE (Duke of Lancasters’) reflected that, “This is a poignant day for the Regiment, as we say goodbye to 76 (Maude’s) Battery Royal Artillery and welcome 28 Training Squadron Royal Engineers. Both sub-units have a long and proud history reaching back to 1795 for elements of 76 Battery and 1876 for 28 Squadron. This day reminds us of the enduring nature of the Army, even as it moves forward and changes to adapt to on going developments throughout the Army, particularly at the training level, where we continue to be very proud of the job we do here, of turning civilians into soldiers.”
With the previous closure of Army Training Regiment Bassingbourn in 2012, the Army recognised the need for the remaining training units to be rebalanced to reflect all of the Army cap badges. As part of this, 76 Battery will be placed in suspended animation and 28 Training Squadron Royal Engineers will now form up as the new flag is raised.
Regimental Colonel of the Royal Artillery, Colonel Roddy Lee ADC (Late Royal Artillery) commented that “It is very sad to see 76 (Maude’s) Battery move into suspended animation. It’s long and distinguished history, which stretches back to 1795, will be cherished and retained for the future. It is fantastic to see that under the new flag of 28 Training Squadron Royal Engineers the Army’s lifeblood of recruits will continue to flourish.”
The Parade marked the end of an era for 76 Battery Royal Artillery, as a training sub-unit having been at Army Training Centre Pirbright since 2008. First formed in 1857, Maude’s Battery, as it was known due to its illustrious leader Second Captain Francis Cornwallis Maude, 76 Battery has a long history. The sub-unit along with its flag will be placed in suspended animation, ready to be used again should the Royal Artillery need a new Battery.
Regimental Colonel of the Royal Engineers, Colonel Callum Skeat ADC (Late Royal Engineers) recognised the importance of training too; “At a time when the Corps of the Royal Engineers has contracted as part of Army 2020, I am proud to see a Squadron reborn especially in a training capacity; the bedrock of any Army.”
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