289 Parachute Regiment, RHA

289 Parachute Regiment, RHA

1956 to 1977

The unit was initially formed as the 289th Parachute Light Regiment, Royal Artillery (TA) in 1956.

This followed the dissolution of the post-war Territorial Army 16 Airborne Division and the restructuring of its artillery units -
291 (4th London) Airborne Field Regiment RA (TA) (based at Lewisham)
292 (5th London) Airborne Anti-Tank Regiment RA (TA) (based at Kensington)
285 (Essex) Airborne Light Regiment RA (TA) (based at Stratford).

289 Para Lt Reg RA was named from the amalgamation of 285 and 291 Regiments, initially becoming part of 44th (Independent) Parachute Brigade Group (TA).

It was renamed as 289 Parachute Regiment, Royal Horse Artillery (TA) in 1960 on the 100th anniversary of the formation of 291 Regt, and marked by a centenary event at which 289's Honorary Colonel, the Earl Mountbatten of Burma, formally accepted the change of status from the Master Gunner.

The regiment had four batteries, one to support each infantry battalion of the 44th  Independent Parachute Brigade Group, with each battery organised on a six gun basis equipped with 4.2 inch Mortars.

At the time of the anniversary Regimental Headquarters was based at Rochester Row Victoria, P Battery at Stratford, Q Battery at Blackheath, R Battery at Plumstead and S Battery at Grays. It was staffed at about 70% of its establishment with some 50 officers and around 300 other ranks on the nominal roll.

The regiment's armament was later strengthened with the addition of 25-pounder quick-firing (QF) field guns.

289 Regiment was revised and redesignated 289 Parachute Battery, Royal Horse Artillery (V) in 1967, following further downsizing of the Territorial Army Airborne Forces.

The battery left 44th Parachute Brigade in 1977 and transferred to the Royal Marines Reserves when it was redesignated as 289 Commando Battery, RA (V).

The line of airborne service has continued to the present however, with 289 Parachute Troop RA, which is now part of 201 (Herts and Beds) Yeomanry Battery RA (V), 100 Regiment Royal Artillery (V).

 

Compiled with assistance from Richard Cole, John Nott and Jeffrey Barker

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  • Group photograph of 289 Para Battery RHA (V), on Remembrance Day, 10 November, 1968

    Group photograph of 289 Para Battery RHA (V), on Remembrance Day, 10 November, 1968

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  • Soldiers of 289 Para Regt RHA (TA) relax at Hankley Common, October 1964

    Soldiers of 289 Para Regt RHA (TA) relax at Hankley Common, October 1964

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  • Group photo of 289 Parachute Regiment RHA, Otterburn, 1966

    Group photo of 289 Parachute Regiment RHA, Otterburn, 1966

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  • 289 Parachute Regiment / Parachute Battery RHA (V) DZ Flash

    289 Parachute Regiment / Parachute Battery RHA (V) DZ Flash

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  • Jim Tydeman, of 289 Para Regt RHA at North Weald, 1960s

    Jim Tydeman, of 289 Para Regt RHA at North Weald, 1960s

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  • Soldier awaits an early morning balloon drop, 289 Para Regt RHA (TA), October 1964

    Soldier awaits an early morning balloon drop, 289 Para Regt RHA (TA), October 1964

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  • Dick Cole enjoys welcome cup of tea, Hankley Common, October 1964

    Dick Cole enjoys welcome cup of tea, Hankley Common, October 1964

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  • Dick Cole waiting to jump, Hankley Common, October 1964

    Dick Cole waiting to jump, Hankley Common, October 1964

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  • Early morning balloon drops by 289 Para Regt RHA (TA), October 1964

    Early morning balloon drops by 289 Para Regt RHA (TA), October 1964

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  • Information leaflet on S Battery, 289 Parachute Regiment RHA TA, date unknown.

    Information leaflet on S Battery, 289 Parachute Regiment RHA TA, date unknown.

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