The Great War Period

There were two distinct branches of the Royal Artillery in the Great War period; the Royal Field Artillery (RFA) and the Royal Garrison Artillery (RGA).
It was estimated that one fith of the British Army served in the Royal Artillery.


British Army battle dress was common  across the Army regardless of branch or service. What distinguished a Gunner were the unique badges and accouterments worn by the individual.
The image is that of a Sergeant from the RFA, probably taken post war due to his field blouse displaying the 1914 star ribbon. On his left shoulder is a white lanyard - common to the RA. In addition he wears a "Gun" patch above his chevrons. The inverted horseshoe symbol denotes that he is a farrier - common in the RFA given their extensive use of horses to convey the guns across the battlefield.


The field service cap as seen in the image to the right, remained in service throughout the war. In the Spring of 1916 however it was more common to see the Brody helmet being worn which provided greater protection for the soldier.

The leather bandoleer was used by mounted soldiers to carry their small arms ammunition.

Just noticeable is the deep, curved shoulder title; this is indicative of those who served in territorial units.

RFA-Bdr4 (1).jpg

The Gunner in the image displays the shoulder titles of the RGA.


Territorial Shoulder Title


Potrait photgraph taken on the Western front circa 1915. The Lance Bombadier is displaying putties and spurs indicative of a mounted Gunner


Note the large leather flap under the spur strap on the front of the boot - these were worn by those who were married to aid in identification if they fell as a casualty