The Scottish Gunners Freedom of City of Inverness march
Issued on behalf of the 19th Regiment Royal Artillery (The Scottish Gunners)
19th Regiment Royal Artillery (The Scottish Gunners) will exercise their Freedom of the city of Inverness at 3pm on Thursday 26 March, marching down the High Street and past the Town House. They will cross Ness Bridge and finish the parade at St Andrew's Cathedral.
19th Regiment Royal Artillery was granted the Freedom of the city on 12th March 1999. This is the highest honour a local authority can grant and is bestowed on organisations of distinction from the region. It is symbolic of the esteem in which the city holds the recipient.
19th Regiment Royal Artillery (The Scottish Gunners) is equipped with eighteen AS-90 155mm self-propelled howitzers. Trained for highly mobile armoured warfare, the Scottish Gunners use this formidable firepower to engage enemy forces at ranges of up to 24.7 kilometres. The Scottish Gunners comprises three-gun batterys, a headquarters battery and workshops of the Royal Electric and Mechanical Engineers.
19th Regiment traces its history to 17 Brigade Royal Field Artillery which was formed in 1900 but the individual batterys date back to the 18th century. 17 Brigade saw action during World War I and in May 1940, had the honour of being the first Royal Artillery unit to fire in World War II while stationed at the Maginot Line. It subsequently served during the North African and Italian campaigns. 17 Brigade was re-designated 19th Regiment in 1947.
During the 1950s and 1960s it served in the Korean War and Aden Emergency. The Regiment was deployed to Bosnia in 1995 and Cyprus in 1998 for United Nation peacekeeping operations. Since the 2000s, the Regiment has seen action in both Iraq and Afghanistan, deploying to Afghanistan for the final time in 2012. Since 2018, the Regiment’s batterys have been deployed in Estonia as part of NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence, working alongside the Estonian Defence Force to demonstrate our readiness and willingness to support our allies.
In 1963, 19th Regiment became known as ‘The Highland Gunners’ and started to recruit from the Highlands. In December 2012, when the 40th Regiment Royal Artillery (The Lowland Gunners) was placed in suspended animation, some of its batterys were subsumed into 19th Regiment, which was officially renamed "The Scottish Gunners". A new banner for the Pipes and Drums was presented and a plaque unveiled at the Regiment's barracks to mark the occasion.
Although the Scottish Gunners now recruit soldiers from across the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth, all the soldiers and officers are proud to uphold the Regiment's Scottish heritage. The Scottish Gunners have been granted the Freedom of the Cities of Inverness and Colchester and wear the Robertson tartan. The Regiment's Pipes and Drums is drawn from active duty soldiers and is a living connection to its Scottish heritage.