|1st Cornwall (Duke of Cornwall's) Artillery Volunteers|
Badge of the Cornwall Artillery Volunteers on the Drill Hall of the 12th (Marazion) Corps, c1870
The 1st Cornwall (Duke of Cornwall's) Artillery Volunteers were formed in 1860 as a response to a French invasion threat. They served as a Coast Artillery unit and continued in existence until the dissolution of Coast Artillery in the UK in 1956.
Artillery Volunteers 1859–1908
The Volunteer Force came into existence in 1859 as a result of an invasion scare and the consequent enthusiasm for joining local Rifle, Artillery and Engineer Volunteer Corps. By 24 May 1860 there were enough Artillery Volunteer Corps (AVCs) in Cornwall to form an Administrative Brigade with its Headquarters (HQ) at Bodmin to include all the AVCs in the County. From July 1861 he 1st Admin Brigade of Cornwall Artillery Volunteers appeared in the Army List under the title of The Duke of Cornwall's Artillery Volunteers with the following composition:
- 1st (Padstow) Cornwall AVC, raised 27 September 1859
- 2nd (Looe) Cornwall AVC, raised 17 October 1859
- 3rd (Fowey) Cornwall AVC, raised 25 November 1859
- 4th (Charlestown) Cornwall AVC, raised 30 October 1859
- 5th (Par) Cornwall AVC, raised 23 December 1859 as the '1st Section of Cornwall Artillery Volunteers'; became 5th Corps in March 1860 – Consols Mine
- 6th (Par Harbour) Cornwall AVC, raised 4 February 1860 as the '2nd Section of Cornwall Artillery Volunteers'; became 6th Corps in June 1860, absorbed by 5th Corps in July 1860
- 7th Polruan) Cornwall AVC, raised 27 February 1860
- 8th (Hayle Foundry) Cornwall AVC, raised from foundry workers 2 April 1860
- 9th (West Fowey Consols Mine) Cornwall AVC, raised from mineworkers on 2 April 1860; disbanded in late 1863
- 10th (St Buryan) Cornwall AVC, raised 5 November 1860; moved to Newlyn 1868, and to Penzance 1877
- 11th (St Ives) Cornwall AVC, raised 8 November 1860; disbanded 1878
- 12th (Marazion) Cornwall AVC, raised 3 April 1860
- 13th (St Just) Cornwall AVC, raised 26 September 1862
- No 1 Battery at Padstow
- No 2 Battery at Looe
- No 3 Battery at Fowey
- No 4 Battery at Charlestown
- No 5 Battery at Par
- No 6 Battery at Polruan
- No 7 Battery at Hayle
- No 8 Battery at Penzance
- No 9 Battery at Marazion
- No 10 Battery at St Just
Territorial Force 1908–1920
After the war, the unit was retitled the Cornwall Coast Brigade RGA (TF) in the reformed Territorial Army, becoming the Cornwall Heavy Brigade RA (TA) in 1924 when the RGA merged with the rest of the Royal Artillery (RA).
(RA Brigades were redesignated Regiments in 1938, allowing AA Groups to adopt the more usual formation title of Brigades.)
Second World War
In 1946 the unit was placed in suspended animation, but the following year reformed in the postwar Territorial Army as 409 Coast Regiment RA (Cornwall) (TA) with Headquarters at Falmouth. It was part of 102 Coast Brigade, within Southern Command.
With the disbandment of Coast Artillery in the UK in 1956 the unit was converted to Royal Engineers as 409th (Cornwall) Independent Field Squadron, RE, and in 1961 it was included in a new 116 (Devon and Cornwall) Engineer Regiment, RE. The regiment was disbanded in 1967 when the TA was reduced and converted into the TAVR.
The original dress of the 3rd Cornwall AVC at Fowey was a long knitted blue fisherman's jersey with the collar cuffs and bottom edge braided in red. Embroidered on the front in red wool was a device 'C.V.A.' over the figure 3, above an inverted triangle of 15 roundels (from the top 5–4–3–2–1) over a scroll embroidered 'ONE AND ALL'. The inverted triangle (or 'pile') of roundels (or 'bezants') derived from the coat of arms of the Duchy of Cornwall. It was designed by the Lord Lieutenant of Cornwall and was worn by all ranks of the 3rd AVC 1860–61.
By 1872 the uniform of all the Corps consisted of a blue tunic of Royal Artillery pattern with black cord trimmings, blue cloth trousers with red stripes, a black leather waistbelt on which was fixed the pouch, worn on the right hip. On the shoulder straps of the tunic the number of the battery was embroidered in red figures. White cotton gloves were also worn. There was no full dress uniform, and this pattern was worn by both officers and other ranks.
- Beckett, Appendix VIII.
- Litchfield & Westlake, pp. 47–9.
- Cornwall Vounteer Artillery at Regiments.org.
- Army Lists.
- Beckett, p. 58.
- Litchfield, p. 34.
- Artillery at Long, Long Trail.
- RGA (TF) at Warpath
- Named Heavy Rgts at RA 39–45.
- 523 Coast Rgt at RA 39–45
- Farndale, Annexes D, H & M.
- 337–575 TA Sqns RE at British Army 1945 on.
- 80–177 TA Rgts RE at British Army 1945 on.
- The Devonshire Territorials at Regiments.org.
- Litchfield & Westlake, p. 47 and Plate 6.
- Ian F.W. Beckett, Riflemen Form: A Study of the Rifle Volunteer Movement 1859–1908, Aldershot, The Ogilby Trusts, 1982, ISBN 0-85936-271-X.
- Gen Sir Martin Farndale, History of the Royal Regiment of Artillery: The Years of Defeat: Europe and North Africa, 1939–1941, Woolwich: Royal Artillery Institution, 1988/London: Brasseys, 1996, ISBN 1-85753-080-2.
- Lt-Col H.F. Joslen, Orders of Battle, United Kingdom and Colonial Formations and Units in the Second World War, 1939–1945, London: HM Stationery Office, 1960/Uckfield: Naval & Military, 2003, ISBN 1-84342-474-6.
- Litchfield, Norman E H, and Westlake, R, 1982. The Volunteer Artillery 1859–1908, The Sherwood Press, Nottingham. ISBN 0-9508205-0-4
- Litchfield, Norman E H, 1992. The Territorial Artillery 1908–1988, The Sherwood Press, Nottingham. ISBN 0-9508205-2-0
- Milne, B A, Capt, Historical Record of the 1st Cornwall (Duke of Cornwall's) Artillery Volunteers, Army and Navy Cooperative Society, 1885
- Rinaldi, Richard A (2008). Order of Battle of the British Army 1914. Ravi Rikhye. ISBN 978-0-97760728-0. https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=hzUZ-26KYQ4C&printsec=frontcover&dq=isbn:9780977607280&hl=en&sa=X&ei=pMfwVODfPJPlaqevgsgB&ved=0CCEQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false.
- Royal Artillery 1939–1945 (archive site)
- The Long, Long Trail
- The Regimental Warpath 1914–1918 (archive site)
- Land Forces of Britain, the Empire and Commonwealth (regiments.org – archive site)
- British Military History
- Patriot Files orders of battle
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