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34 Bty History

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34bty.jpg

                                     
                                   34 Seringapatam Bty
The Battery draws its name from The Third Mysore War and the Siege of Seringapatam in May 1799. Keen to quell the province of Mysore and its ruler, Tipu Sultan, the Earl of Mornington despatched a sizeable force
against the seat of the sultan, Seringapatam. Raised in 1763 as the Third Company of the Bengal Foot Artillery, part of the Honourable East India Company, the predecessor to 34 Battery was employed in the campaign. Outwitted in the field by the skill of Lieutenant-General George Harris, leader of the Madras Army, Tipu Sultan was forced to fall back into Seringapatam, where he was besieged. It was the immense firepower of the batteries that supported the siege that broke the fortress of Seringapatam.  On May 4th, 1799, Seringapatam fell after heavy fighting and Tipu Sultan was killed. In 1822 all the units that participated in the siege were allowed to wear the word 'Seringapatam' on their appointments in commemoration of their distinguished conduct.
In 1926 the Battery was designated 'Heavy' and moved to Singapore where it served until the Japanese invasion in 1942. Many of the Battery, led by the BSM tried to escape on the open seas but were not heard of again. Almost a third of the Battery died in captivity.
In 1960 the Battery re-formed as 34 (Seringapatam) Heavy Battery on joining 24 Missile Regiment at Paderborn and was equipped with the towed 8" Howitzer. 1972 saw the introduction of the self-propelled M110 8" Howitzer.
In September 1972 34 (Seringapatam) Heavy Battery joined 45 Medium Regiment on the disbandment of 24 Missile Regiment. It then moved to 39 Heavy Regiment in 1982, having served in Northern Ireland three times.
In 1986 the Battery moved to the Royal School of Artillery as part of 14 Field Regiment with 6 Light Guns and 8 Abbot self propelled guns.
In 1994 it combined with 76 (Maude's) Battery to form a Battery of almost
200 soldiers and 12 guns.

                         REGIMENTAL HISTORY
The Regiment was originally formed at Woolwich in March 1900 as 28th Brigade Royal Field Artillery and comprised 122, 123 and 124 Batteries.
 
After a period of service in both England and Ireland it sailed for France as part of 5th Division in August 1914. The Brigade took part in virtually every major battle on the Western Front during the four years of the Great War, including Mons, the Somme offensive of 1916 and Ypres.
 
On the conclusion of hostilities in 1918, the Brigade spent a short period in Germany as part of the Rhine Army before returning to the United Kingdom in 1919. By the end of 1919 the Brigade departed once more for service overseas, on this occasion to Asiatic Turkey. It returned to Woolwich in 1921 and, as part of the massive reorganisation of the time, was temporarily disbanded.
The Brigade number (but not the original batteries) was reactivated in November 1922 when 37th Brigade, with 1st, 3rd and 5th Batterys became the new 28th Brigade Royal Field Artillery. By the end of 1924 the title had changed once more to 28th Field Brigade Royal Artillery. 28th Brigade spent the inter war years in various stations, both at home and abroad including Aldershot and Shorncliffe in England, as well as Meerut and Ferozepore in Northern India until it was re-titled 28th Field Regiment RA at Jubbulpore in India in 1938.

The Regiment was finally mechanised at Jubbulpore in September of that year when it exchanged its horses for rather ancient Albion lorries. The 18 pounders were refitted with small, solid wheels with pneumatic tyres. At the same time the batterys were linked to become 1/5 Battery with 18 pounders and 3/57 Battery armed with the 4.5 inch Howitzer.
The Regiment departed India in August 1940, embarking on HMT Nevassa at Bombay on the 24th of the month for service in the Middle East. It arrived at Port Sudan with 5th Indian Division some four weeks later. Once disembarked it was despatched to Eritrea where it was involved in countless battles and actions against the Italians, the most famous perhaps being that of Keren in 1941. From 1941 to May 1943 the Regiment fought with 5 Indian Division throughout the campaign in the Western Desert. It took part in many of the principle actions of the period, including Gazala and the Cauldron in 1942. In July 1943 the Regiment returned once again to India. It was re-titled 28 Jungle Field Regiment and spent the remainder of the war in action against the Japanese. From the end of the war in 1945 until early 1947 the Regiment carried out a period of garrison duties in India. They returned briefly to England, where in March 1947 they were retitled 14th Field Regiment. By the end of the year the Regiment was once again overseas, this time in Hong Kong where it remained until moving for service in Korea in 1951. Here it fought with the Commonwealth Division until the end of the Korean War in 1953.
Between 1953 and 1971 the Regiment continued to serve worldwide in places as far afield as Malaya, Hong Kong, Germany and the United Kingdom. As part of yet another Defence Review in the late 1960s, 14th Regiment was placed in suspended animation in 1971. The Batterys however, survived this fate and were posted to other Regiments. 14 Field Regiment was reformed at Larkhill in December 1984 as the support Regiment for the Royal School of Artillery.
Initially it comprised 1st, 132nd (The Bengal Rocket Troop) and 176th (Abu Klea) Batterys. Today, as a result of further reorganisation, the Regiment comprises 1st (HQ) Battery, 24 (Irish) Battery and 34 (Seringapatam) Battery.