ROYAL ARTILLERY ASSOCIATION 100th ANNIVERSARY - 26th MAY 2020
Wishing us all a 'Happy Centenary!’ on this day, The Master Gunner St James’s Park joins us in recognising and celebrating the formation of the Royal Artillery Association on this day one hundred years ago. Please see below. Best wishes, and stay safe!
Brigadier Mark Pountain CBE
MESSAGE FROM THE MASTER GUNNER ST JAMES’S PARK
"Dear Members of the Royal Artillery Association,
One hundred years ago today, on the 26th May 1920, the Royal Artillery Association was formed. Its objectives remain the foundation of its activities today, namely to embrace and support anybody who is or has been part of our Regimental family; that includes those who are currently serving, veterans, families, widows and widowers, dependants and more. Amongst its services, the Association is proud to provide comradeship, welfare support and advice – including when leaving the Army. It is a fundamental aspect of what makes the Royal Regiment of Artillery a proper ‘family’ and gives substance to the cry, ‘Once a Gunner, Always a Gunner’. And it is underpinned by the considerable commitment of so many of you who give your time and energy in order to ensure, across the Regiment, from the newest and youngest recruit to the most senior veteran, we take pride in our collective heritage, traditions and, perhaps most importantly, our ability to be there for each other.
We had intended to celebrate this significant milestone at our annual Regimental Assembly at Blackpool which should have taken place last weekend. Very sadly, Covid-19 put paid to that, though we still hope to gather over the first weekend in October instead. The Assembly in Blackpool was the opportunity also to recognise another equally important change that occurs today – 26th May 2020, namely that the Royal Horse Artillery Association is joining the Royal Artillery Association as a national branch. I am delighted this is happening, for, while we can and should continue to be proud of the histories of our batteries and regiments and of where each of us has served, we are ‘One Regiment’ and having one Association that embraces all Gunners will strengthen that ethos.
On your behalf, I have sent the following message of Loyal Greeting to Her Majesty The Queen, our Captain General:
I would be grateful if you would convey my humble duty to Her Majesty The Queen, and inform Her Majesty that on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of its formation, on 26th May 1920, the serving and retired members of the Royal Artillery Association wish to convey their loyal greetings to Her Majesty The Queen, their Captain General and Patron.
Her Majesty may be interested to note that on 26th May 2020, the Royal Horse Artillery Association will join the Royal Artillery Association as a national branch, this further cementing the concept of 'One Regiment'. The Royal Horse Artillery Old Comrades Association was actually founded on 9th February 1907; the inaugural meeting, convened by Captain J Bruce Webster at St Stephens Restaurant, Bridge Street, Westminster, was attended by more than sixty former Horse Gunners. The planned combined National Assembly to celebrate the centenary and the coming together of the Royal Horse Artillery Association with the Royal Artillery Association has been delayed from May and provisionally rescheduled for October.
I will of course forward any reply we may receive from Her Majesty in sure course.
While I know that many will be sorry that current circumstances do not allow us to gather in the ways we would have wished to celebrate the Centenary of our Association and the joining together of the Royal Artillery and Royal Horse Artillery Associations, please still take great pride in the importance and significance of today’s date. Hopefully many of you will be able to get together virtually, with friends and fellow Gunners, in your own ways and with your memories, in the knowledge of shared comradeship and the strength of fellowship that comes from being a Gunner. At this time of physical isolation, being part of a larger family has never been more important. You are never alone; please always remember that, and please never ‘suffer in silence’ for the Regiment is always your Regiment and is there for you.
Let us hope we can get together in October.
With my best wishes"
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