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May 8, 1912.
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Our Weekly Illustrated Feature.
The Royal t\rtillery, from which the Royal Hone Artillery sprang, occupiea a considerable place in military history, which is an epitome of the history of the nation, but it baa been said that the origin of the R.H.A. lacks some-thing of the distinction which haa accrued to it since it has been an integral part of the British Army. As a matter of fact the R.H.A. had no separate existence till near the end of the 18th century, when the only gunners on the Army list were the Artillerymen, who manned the heavy guns, which was then the only equipment of the Ordnance department. About that time eighteen irojps of Horse Artillery were detached from the R.A., and a few years later these became an organised foro#, with the name of the R.H.A., largely through the instru mentality of the then Duke of Richmond.
Starting with the privilege of picking from the R.A. for the purpose of filling ita ranks, the R.E.A. *oon began to juatify itself, and to lay the foundations of the position which later attached to it, of being the cream of the Aimy, "the right of the line." As far as the regular army is concerned, it is still the smallest part of the Artillery forces, there being only twenty-eight horse batteries against 150 Geld batteries and 87 garrison companies, but in a Territorial sense the R.H.A. batteries hare Keen recruiting very strongly. Of the part of the R.H.A. in the Mutiny, the Crimea, and in South Africa there is nothing that need be aaid here, save that the lustre of Waterloo was never dimmed, since our purpose is to deal with the Territorial unit of Horse Artillery, which during the past three years lias become so efficient a part of the local auxiliary forces.
The Battery, its full title is the Hampshire R.H.A. and Mounted Brigade Ammunition Column, came into existence in September, 1S09, Major E. T. Dixon, an artilleryman with an active service record, being gazetted to the command. The headquarters of the Battery was the Mission Hall near Bedford place, which waa shared with the R.A.M.C., and the Battery, recruited mainly in Southampton and the district, though the Ammunition Column waa centred at Basinptoke, whence it Braws ila strength. In twelve months the Battery wma practically complete, and waa able to go into training on Salisbury Plain, a section being detached, later to take part in the Army manoeuvres of that year. In the next year the Battery trained at Durrington, on Salisbury Plain, while during the coming summer it is^ intended that it should take ita place in the lag scheme of the Army manoeuvres, of which SuOolk is to be the ccntre. It is announced that 7,000 regular*, in addition to kpitonal take part in the maiwrmma, the artillery units being the Hampshire R.H.A. and the Northum-hrian R.P.A. The Eampshirp Yeomanry, will Colonel Seely in command, will also participate, this being an sltenation in the anangemenla for the Carabiniera' training, made since our azticle on the subject. The Battery, which forms part of the 1st S.W. Mounted Brigade (Colonel Le Roy Lewis' command), is also gain.

MAJOR E. T. DIXON, commanding tho R.H.A.

Men parading at the West Station before leaving for Hilsea for training on Saturday last.-
ing experience and efficiency as the result of a scries of week end camps, there was one last R.i6tOT, which are the loureo of the enthusiasm which runs through the whole unit from the Commanding Officer down to the newest recruit. THE OFFICERS.
The R.H.A. has indeed been singularly for-tunate in the matter of its officers. Major-Dixon, whoso enthusiasm for military aervice of an even more comprehensive nature than the Territorial system, is well-known, ia, as wo have said, an artilleryman by training. He joined the R.A. in 1883, being posted to a Field Battery in India. He took part in the first Suakim expedition in 1884, and at ita close was appointed to a Horse Artillery Battery, again in India, and served with it three years, after which, in consequenoe of ill-health, lie resigned.
During the South African war Major Dixon, then holding captain's rank, joined the Re-servo of Officers, and raised a Battery of Horse Artillery at Newbridge, while in 1901 he went to South Africa in charge of horses.
Major Cheke, who was associated with the Hampshire* when tho Battery waa raised, ia also a trained artilleryman, being a retired Major of tha R F A. He haa, however, since been promoted to ^he command of the 1st Weescx Brigade at Portsmouth. Captain Bailey, who commands the Ammunition Column, has also had war service, l*ing attached during tho South African war to Steinekor'a Horse, gaining the I).S O. for the gallant capture, single-landed, of a couple of Boer despatch carriers. Captain Bailey has since been seconded for service with the Zanzibar Police, but it is expected that he will return to liis duties at Basingstoke this summer.
The other officers of tire Battery are Captain Gillson, who is to he congratulated upon his promotion, just gazetted, and who is a solicitor in practice at Fare ham and Lyndfourst, Lieut*. Jeans, Brown, and Beth Smith, the latter being attached to the Ammunition Column, Captain Boyd, R.H.A., who is tho Adjutant, Vet.-Lieut. Bradbury, and Drs. Burnett and Henry, who are the Battery's medical officers. The Battery is at the moment nearly up to its establishment of just over 200 men, of which 160 come from Southampton and the district.
Tho Hampshire R.H.A., is as well served in the matter of housing as in the other details of its organization. Since the opening of the Drill Hall in Commercial Road, the R.H.A. have shared the very excellent accommodation provided by the County Territorial Association with the Carabiniers and the R.A.MO. There is also a now Drill Hall at Basingstoke, where the Ammunition Column is headquartered. In addition to the annual camps, in which the gunners operate with the other units of the Brigade, there are plenty o' opportunities provided for training in the most highly technical I brancu of the Territorial forces. V'sits to ! Aldershot for training with the regulars wore ' formerly part of the R.H.A curriculum, while in ; recent times they bavu been visiting Christ-church and Hilsea, both of which well-known artillery,stations are within the county, for training with "regular" homes. Our pictures this week include the snapshot of members of the battery leaving the West Station, on Saturday, for llilsea.
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