Col Albert Borgard, The first Colonel of the Royal Artillery
Rank/Regt: Foundation of The Royal Regiment of Artillery. Prior to 1716, trains of artillery were raised for specific campaigns; the guns were manned by minimally trained gun detachments and commanded by a master gunner; they were dependent on non-combatant carters and their horses for movement. By the early 18th Century, the shortcomings of this system were well known. Under these terms, in 1704, a siege company of artillery was raised in London to man the defences of Gibraltar and a field company to support the Minorca garrison; these were subsequently subsumed within the Royal Artillery. The difficulties in raising a Train of Artillery in a timely manner to meet the threat of the 1715 Jacobite Rising may have been the catalyst to the formation of a regular Train of Artillery. A Royal Warrant dated 26 May 1716 authorised the establishment of a permanently manned Train of Artillery of two companies at the Royal Arsenal, Woolwich under the Board of Ordnance. It was renamed Royal Artillery in 1722 when the Gibraltar and Minorca Trains of Artillery were integrated within the Royal Artillery. Col Albert Borgard, a Dane, was appointed the first Colonel of the Royal Artillery; and Lt Col, subsequently Lt Gen, Jonas Watson became Chief Bombardier of England; he was also Master Gunner of Whitehall and St James's Park from 1710 to 1741.