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The first Army Commandos since the end of the WW2 received their Green Berets on 15th May 1962, 29 Commando Regiment RA. And on the 18th March 1964, 95 Commando Light Regiment RA formed.

(Borneo, Malaya, Aden,)


(Brunei (1962), Borneo (1963-66), Aden (1966-67))

29 & 95 joined together in 1971 forming what has since been 29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery, 70’s also saw Norway and Jungle Deployments.


(Malta,Cyprus (1974) (Northern Ireland))

Late 70s early 80s saw the use of the 105mm Light Gun which saw action in the Falklands War. 80’s also saw Norway and Jungle Deployments.


(The Falklands (1982 ) (Northern Ireland))

90’s saw Norway, Jungle Deployments and the First Iraq War, With the Regiment involved in Op Safe Haven.


(Iraq (1991),  Bosnia, UN Tour Cyprus (1996), Kosovo (1999) (Northern Ireland))


Sierra Leone, Iraq, Afghanistan, also Norway, Jungle Deployments and ongoing Operations throughout this period.


(Sierra Leone (2000), (Northern Ireland), Iraq (2003), Afghanistan (2001, 2006, 2008 and 2011))

50th Anniversary March Through the City of Plymouth by The Regiment and Veterans wearing their Green Berets with pride.

(21 Jul 2012)


60th Anniversary coming soon 2022

1962

29 Commando Light Regiment Royal Artillery, 8 (Alma) Cdo Bty RA, 79 (Kirkee) Cdo Bty RA,

and 145 (Maiwand) Cdo Bty RA, 20 Cdo Bty RA.


1964

29 Commando Light Regiment Royal Artillery, 79 (Kirkee) Cdo Bty RA, and 145 (Maiwand) Cdo Bty RA, 20 Cdo Bty RA.


95 Commando Light Regiment Royal Artillery, 8 (Alma) Cdo Bty RA 7 (Sphinx) Cdo Bty RA, 148 (Meiktila) Cdo Bty RA.


1971

29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery, HQ (Cdo) Bty RA, 7 (Sphinx) Cdo Bty RA, 8 (Alma) Cdo Bty RA, 79 (Kirkee) Cdo Bty RA, 145 (Maiwand) Cdo Bty RA.


95 Commando FOU.


1976

29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery, HQ (Cdo) Bty RA, 7 (Sphinx) Cdo Bty RA, 8 (Alma) Cdo Bty RA, 79 (Kirkee) Cdo Bty RA, 145 (Maiwand) Cdo Bty RA, 148 (Meiktila) Cdo Bty RA.


1977

29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery, HQ (Cdo) Bty RA, 7 (Sphinx) Cdo Bty RA, 8 (Alma) Cdo Bty RA, 79 (Kirkee) Cdo Bty RA, 148 (Meiktila) Cdo Bty RA, 289 (V) Cdo Bty RA.


145 (Maiwand) Cdo Bty RA were put in Suspended Animation on 01/04/1977

79 (Kirkee) Cdo Bty RA were put in Suspended Animation from 01/11/1977 until 01/10/1978


1978 - Present

29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery, HQ (Cdo) Bty RA, 7 (Sphinx) Cdo Bty RA, 8 (Alma) Cdo Bty RA, 79 (Kirkee) Cdo Bty RA, 148 (Meiktila) Cdo Bty RA.


HQ (Cdo) Bty RA renamed 23 (Gibraltar 1779-1783) Cdo Bty RA on 01/03/1993

289 (V) Cdo Bty  RA reformed into 266 (GVA) Bty RA 1999

289 Cdo Troop (266 (GVA) Battery, 104 Regiment Royal Artillery)

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Army Commando


In The second World War a Gunner Capt John Durnford-Slater RA was credited with establishing the first Army Commando unit.

In mid June 1940, following the lightning advance of the Germans through France and the subsequent Dunkirk evacuation, the British War Office put out a call for volunteers to carry out raids along the coasts of the occupied territories.

Capt Durnford-Slater was able to convince His commanding officer to recommend him for the special force that was being raised to do this.

His appointment came through on the 28th June and Lt Col John Durnford-Slater RA who was based in Plymouth immediately began the process of recruiting Officers and Men for this new unit.

By the 5th July 1940, No. 3 Commando was officially in existence.

The Commandos struck rapidly and direct to the German forces at a time when Britain was otherwise powerless.

Successful Raids were made on the coasts of Norway, France, Italy and in the Mediterranean.

By the time of the Normandy landings (D Day) 6th June 1944, the Commando Forces were of a considerable size and had played a major role in Operations in all theatres of War.

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At the end of the Second World War, All of the British Army, Royal Navy, Royal Air Force, and some Royal Marine Commandos were disbanded.

The Commando role was then passed entirely to the Royal Marines, the Royal Navy’s amphibious infantry.

             A word in the house, a stroke of a pen The country disbanded a fine body of men

Army Commando units then ceased to exist. However By the late 1950's, Britain’s defence policy began to stress the importance of a worldwide maritime strategy (The Cold War). The Royal Navy commissioned Commando Carriers such as HMS Bulwark and HMS Albion. The Royal Marines, who no longer had their own Artillery decided that they required support from an Army Artillery Regiment.


The rest as they say is History…..   

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29/95 Commando


The Regiment was established in 1947 by the re designation of the 25th Field Regiment.

In 1951, it was renamed as the 29th Medium Regiment Royal Artillery and was based at Brancepeth Camp in Durham.


In 1957, The Regiment was deployed in Cyprus.


During 1962, 29th Field Regiment RA was deployed with 25 Pounder guns in Aden and Kuwait, deterring Iraq from invading the oil fields.


In 1962, 29 re-roled and became 29 Commando Light Regiment, Royal Artillery.


In 1952, 95 reformed from 95th Regiment RA to 95th Amphibious Observation Regiment RA from personnel of 267 AO Bty, 7 Bty also reformed (ex 15 Regt).


In 1962, 95 converted to 95 Commando Amphibious Observation Regiment RA.

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In 1962, 29 re-roled and 29th Medium Regiment Royal Artillery became 29 Commando Light Regiment Royal Artillery.

This consisted of three gun batteries numbered 8 (Alma), 79 (Kirkee), and 145 (Maiwand).


At that time, each battery consisted of 4 x 105mm pack howitzers (Italian Mountain Gun) and manned with approximately 65 men.


The men of the newly formed 29 Commando ‘Light’ Regiment RA trained for and passed the Commando Course at the Commando Training Centre Royal Marines, Lympstone.


It was a proud and historic moment when the first Army Commandos since the end of the War were reformed (15th May 1962).


The early Commando training was initiated in the Royal Citadel at Plymouth with a four week 'beat up' to select those who would then go on to CTCRM Lympstone and complete the five week Commando course (X Troop) with the Royal Marine trainees where all qualified for the right to wear the Green Beret.


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In 1964, 95 Commando Light Regiment Royal Artillery formed with 8 (Alma) Bty moving from 29 Commando and 7 (Sphinx) Bty which came out of mothballs.


From 1965 until 1970 the two Regiments were based alternately in Singapore or The Royal Citadel in Plymouth.


The Naval Gunfire support Batteries were 20 Cdo Battery with 29 Commando Regiment

and 148 (Meiktila) Cdo Battery with 95 Commando Regiment.


During this period the regiments saw action in Aden and Borneo as well as spending time on HMS Albion, HMS Bulwark, HMS Intrepid, and HMS Fearless travelling to trouble spots worldwide.


In 1971 95 Commando joined with 29 Commando. and formed 29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery equipped with four Gun Batteries. (7 (Sphinx), 8 (Alma), 79 (Kirkee) and 145 (Maiwand) Bty’s).

The Naval Gunfire Support batteries became 95 Commando Forward Observation Unit.


The Gun Batteries were then attached to a Royal Marine Commando as part of a Commando Group.

For example: 45 Commando Group consisted of 45 Commando Royal Marines, 7 (Sphinx) Commando Battery Royal Artillery, 45 Commando Air Squadron, Condor Troop Royal Engineers and an Ordnance section.

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Since 1962, 29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery has deployed all over the Globe as part of 3 Commando Brigade. Operating in every major conflict that the Brigade has so far been involved in. Not forgetting also the wider Commitments of the British Army in General.


This has included Brunei (1962), Borneo (1963-66), Aden (1966-67), Cyprus (1974), The Falklands (1982) with numerous tours of Northern Ireland (over the Years). More recently the Regiment has deployed to Iraq (1991 and 2003),  Bosnia (1994 and 1997), Kosovo (1999), Sierra Leone (2000), and Afghanistan (2001, 2006, 2008 and 2011).


The composition of the Regiment since it’s formation in 1962 has changed constantly to accommodate the  various demands made on the UK Armed Forces.


During the 1982 Falklands War, 29 Commando Regiment accompanied the Royal Marines, providing much needed close support with their L118 Light Guns.


In 1996, the honorary Freedom of the City of Plymouth was conferred on the regiment (with the unanimous support of Plymouth City Council).


The Regiment has recently conducted numerous operational tours in Afghanistan to provide Artillery support during operations against Al Qaeda and Taliban militants.


The 50th Anniversary of the Formation of the Regiment in 2012, was attended by lots of Veterans who marched behind the serving members through the City of Plymouth then back to the Royal Citadel (Our Regimental Home). The 50th Anniversary Reunion was Remembered and Celebrated in style.

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29/95 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery (Brief History 1947 -  2021)


Apr 1947       25th Field Regiment RA re designated to 29th Field Regiment RA, with 8, 79  and 145 Field                            Bty’s from 12, 31 and 58 Bty’s respectively  

 

Jul 1948        Germany, Dorset Bks, Kiel - 8, 79 and 145 Fld Bty’s - (25pdr)


1950’s            95th Amphibious Observation Regiment RA formed in the early 1950's


1951               England, Brancepeth Camp, Durham - 8, 79 and 145 Fld Bty’s - (25pdr)

 

1951               Renamed 29th Medium Regiment Royal Artillery

 

Nov 1951       Cyprus, 8, 79 and 145 Fld Btys - (25pdr)

 

Jan 1952        Egypt, Geneifa, Fayid, Suez  8, 79 and 145 Fld Bty’s - (25pdr)


Sep 1954        Germany, Caernarvon Bks, Dusseldorf  8, 79 and 145 Fld Bty’s - (25pdr)


1957                England, Chiseldon Camp, Swindon  8, 79 and 145 Fld Bty’s - (25pdr)


May 1957       Cyprus, Karaolos Camp 8, 79 and 145 Fld Bty’s Internal security operations


1960                The Regiment left Cyprus  and sailed on ' HMS Devonshire' for return to UK

  

Jun 1960        England, Royal Citadel, Plymouth 8, 79 and 145 Fld Bty’s - (25pdr)


1962                Reorganised as 29 Commando Light Regiment RA

                        and 95 Commando Amphibious Observation Regiment RA  


May 1962       Re-equipped with 105mm Pack Howitzer - (105mm Pack Howitzer) Brunei

      

1962 - 1963    Aden & Kuwait (Before May) 20, 79 and 145 Cdo Bty’s - (105mm Pack Howitzer)

     

1962 - 1967    Brunei / Borneo / Aden - (105mm Pack Howitzer)


1964                95 was redesignated as 95 Commando Light Regiment RA, 7, 8, 148 Bty’s


1965 - 1970    Alternating between Singapore and the UK


May 1971        20 Bty were put into suspended animation, personnel to 95th Commando FOU.

      7 (Sphinx)  and 8 (Alma) Bty’s joined from 95 Regt (7, 8, 79 and 145 Cdo Bty’s)


1971 - 1975    145 Bty,  Arbroath - (105mm Pack Howitzer)


1971 - 1975     79 Bty, Malta - (105mm Pack Howitzer)


1974                Cyprus and 29 Cdo Regt  - (105mm Pack Howitzer)


Jan 1975        7 Bty moved to RM Condor, Arbroath.  Replacing 145 Bty - (105mm Pack Howitzer)

                        145 Bty back to Royal Citadel, Plymouth. 148 Bty, Poole


1975 - 1977     8 Bty, Malta  - (105mm Pack Howitzer)


1977                 Re-equipped with 105mm Light Gun  - (105mm Light Gun)


1976  - 1977   148 (Meiktila) Bty joined from 95 Cdo FOU, remaining at (Poole), 7 Bty, (Arbroath), 8 Bty,

      79 Bty, (Plymouth) and 145 Bty was put into suspended animation in Apr 77


Nov 1977        79 Bty put into suspended animation and personnel distributed

                        289 (V) Bty re-roled from Para to a Commando Bty (Greater London)


Oct  1978         79 Bty out of suspended animation


1982                  Falklands War (Op Corporate)


May 1991         Iraq  (Op Safe Haven)


Mar 1993         HQ (Cdo) Bty RA renamed 23 (Gibraltar 1779-1783) Cdo Bty RA


Oct 1994          Kuwait  (7 Bty)  (Op Driver)


1994 - 1995     Bosnia  (8 Bty)  IFOR (Op Resolute) then SFOR (Op Lodestar)


1995                 Cyprus UN (Op Tosca) (UNFICYP)


July 96             Freedom of the City of Plymouth


Jun 1997         Bosnia (79 Bty) (Op Lodestar)


1999 - 2000     Kosovo (7 Bty) (Op Agricola)

       289 (V) Cdo Bty reduced to a troop (266 Bty)


May 2000        Sierra Leone  (Op Silkman)


Dec 2001        Afghanistan (7 Bty) (Op Jacana)


Jan 2003         Iraq War (Op Telic)

 

2006 - 2007     Afghanistan: (Op Herrick 5)


2008 - 2009    Afghanistan: (Op Herrick 9)  


2011                Afghanistan: (Op Herrick 14)  


2012                50th Anniversary March through the City and Reunion


2012                289 Cdo Troop based in Plymouth - UAV DH3 (re-equipped with 105mm Light Guns in 2017)


2019                7 (Sphinx), 8 (Alma), 79 (Kirkee), HQ (Gibraltar) Bty (Plymouth), 148 (Meiktila) Bty (Poole)



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Today….


Soldiers volunteer for 29 Commando Regiment from the regular units of the Royal Artillery, Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, and other attached arms and services (e.g. chefs, clerks etc.) and are required to undergo Commando training following entry to the regiment.


Personnel are inducted into 'PC Troop' (Potential Commando Troop) and taken through a six-week foundation course at Okehampton, covering the basics of field craft, navigation, physical training, skill at arms and commando history. The course teaches anything that may have been missed in Phase One and Phase Two training as well as new commando skills.


After completing foundation, candidates start the four week Commando Conditioning Course (CCC) or otherwise known as 'beat-up'. This is a rigorous phase where personnel are required to pass multiple criteria tests in all aspects of commando training in order to qualify for the All Arms Commando Course (AACC).


The AACC is an arduous nine-week course conducted at the Commando Training Centre Royal Marines at Lympstone, Devon culminating in the Commando tests and leading to the award of the Green beret.


Gunners then go on to complete further specialist training as required.





Brief History of 29    95 Commando
1960’s
1970’s
1980’s
1990’s
2000’s
Veteran’s
Commando Gunner Regroup
“United we Conquer”