18 (Quebec 1759) Battery

The Bty was raised at Woolwich on the 1stJanuary 1759 as Capt W Macleod’s Company, 1stBattalion RA. It then transferred to 2ndBattalion RA the following year. In January 1825 it became 5thCompany, 2ndBattalion RA and then in 1902 it became 100 Company RGA. This unit was designated 18 Medium Bty RA in 1920 and has retained that number ever since.
Capt Macleod’s company marched from Woolwich on the 7thJanuary 1759 to Portsmouth where it joined the expeditionary force assembling under General James Wolfe. The object of the expedition was to capture Quebec. On 27thJune 1759 the British forces landed on the Isle of Orleans, down-river from Quebec, after a hazardous voyage up the St Lawrence River. This was accomplished largely through the skill of a certain James Cook, the famous explorer of later years.
The difficulties of Wolfe’s task were numerous and formidable. Apart from the navigation of the St Lawrence River, the French had fortified Quebec and its approaches. The Marquis de Montcalm had five French regular regiments, and a large body of Colonial troops and Canadian militia available to man the defences.
On the night of the 12thSeptember twenty-four picked light infantrymen led by Colonel William Howe landed on the tiny strand of beach below Quebec, climbed laboriously up the two-hundred foot cliff face and surprised a Canadian Militia piquet at the top who were quickly overwhelmed. The French were expecting supply boats from Montreal that night, and though twice challenged by sentries the British were not fired on.
Once the landing was secure the rest of the troops landed, and having cleared the obstructed path up the cliffs, began to form up on the plain to the west of Quebec. Shortly after dawn on 13thSeptember 4,500 men were in position, facing east towards Quebec on the Plains of Abraham. The bulk of the Artillery was still at Point Levis, but a small detachment under Lieutenant J Yorke accompanied Wolfe’s landing force with two six pounder field guns. One of these guns was man-handled up the cliff path in time to take post in the centre of the British line. The second gun arrived during the course of battle which followed.
During the battle the two British field guns more than held their own against the three field guns which the French brought into action. Although it is true Canada was not completely conquered until a year later with the capitulation of Montreal, Wolfe’s victory in 1759 virtually decided the matter and has rightly been regarded as one of the most significant battles in British History.
Of the three RA units present during the campaign, only Macleod’s Company has survived and so it alone bears the Honour Title ‘Quebec 1759’ which it was granted in 1935.
In recent years the Bty has deployed on numerous on numerous tours of Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Bty is currently attached to 32 Regt RA, as a Protected Mobility MUAS Bty.

 

RA RHQ, Artillery Barracks, Larkhill, Salisbury SP4 8QT

©2017 by The Royal Artillery Historical Trust.