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The Battery was first formed in 1755 as 2 Company, Bombay Artillery that was part of the army of Presidency of Bombay maintained by the honourable East Indian Company.

Their first action was in 1756 at the Siege of Gheria, South of Bombay where Tulaji Angria had set himself up as the ruler of the district and had assembled a fleet, which he used for piracy. The troops, under Lieutenant Colonel Clive, landed and cut of the fort from the town but in addition a number of Artillerymen were employed bomb ketches firing mortars. The siege was successful and Tulaji Angria was overthrown.

In March 1757 a detachment from the Battery took part in Clives Campaign near Calcutta and were involved in the Battles of Chandernagore and Plassey.

The Battery went to Egypt in 1801 as part of the Indian contingent in the campaign against Napoleon. As a result of this the Battery were allowed to bear "Egypt" and the Sphinx on its appointments. This award is now commemorated in the Honour Title "Sphinx" but a Sphinx badge was worn by the Battery on the tropical helmet in India between the wars.

The Battery took part in the Third Mahratta War (1817-18) and was awarded the Army of India Medal with the bars Seetabuldee, Mahidpore and Corygaum for their services at those battles.

In the first Afghan War, 1839-40, acting as No 2 Mule Battery, and under the command of Captain T J Pontardent, served with the Bombay Column and went Kabul via Quetta and Ghunzee. Members of the Battery were awarded the Ghunzee Medal for service at Ghunzee on 21-23 July 1839.

The next major action of the Battery was in the Persian War of 1856-57 when they manned mortars on rafts to bombard the Turkish positions at Mohamerah. The BC, Captain Worgans, was recommended for the Victoria Cross.

In the Indian Mutiny the Battery was employed as No 2 Light Field Battery and took part in the capture of Awah in January 1858, the siege of Kotah in March 1858 and the action at Chota Udepure in December 1858. Just after the Mutiny the Battery was transferred to the Royal Artillery and became 1 Battery 21 Brigade RA.

Perhaps the greatest campaign of the Battery was the Boer War where, as 81 Fd Battery, they fought at Klip Drift, Klip Kral, Paardeberg, Driefontein, Doorkop, Brandwater Basin, and in The Transvaal with Kitcheners Column in 1901. The battle of Paardeberg showed the Battery at its best. They were bombarding General Cronje's camp when they were attacked by two separate columns of Boers attempting to relieve the pressure on Cronje. Not perturbed the BC directed one section to continue bombarding the Boer Camp and the other two sections to engage separately the two Boer Columns. The Battery was thus engaging three separate targets, all in different directions.

In the First World War the Battery went to France with V Brigade RFA as part of the Indian Lahore Division. They took part the Battles of Nueve Chapelle, Aubers Ridge, Festubert, Loos, St Julien and La bassee.

Just before the Second World War the Battery, in common with other field Batteries, was linked with 63 Field Battery to form a twelve gun 63/81 Battery, B Troop of which was authorised to use the "Sphinx" title. In 1939 the Battery was in India and from January to May 1940 was on active service with Azinforces near Bannu for even in 1940 there was still trouble on the Indian Frontier. On 6th November 1941 the Battery arrived in Singapore from India. When the Japanese invaded the Battery they fought until the order to capitulate was given and what was left of the Battery spent the next few years in Japanese Prison Camps.

In June 1943 the Battery was reformed in UK but remained there until the end of the war. On 1 April 1947 the Battery was retitled 11(Sphinx) Searchlight Battery and two years later became a LAA/Search-Light Battery. It was as such that at Langham on 5th August 1950 the Battery was informed that it would be proceeding to Korea as an independent Battery. It was soon brought up to full strength and on embarkation there were no fewer than thirteen officers in the Battery. In Korea the three troops were placed under command of various units for LAA protection, but it soon became obvious that the Bofors was very effective in the ground role and there were several occasions when the guns were so used. At the Imjin Battle A Troop were present, supporting 45 Field Regiment in the ground role, in July 1951 the Battery was re-organized into three troops each of three 4.2 inch mortars and one troop of six Bofors and it was not until after this, and after ten months in korea, that the Battery experienced its first engagement of enemy aircraft. The Battery left Korea in November 1951.

In August 1956 the Battery was ordered to mobilise because of the Suez Crisis but in the event was destined not to take part in the campaign. In 1958 the Battery, however the Battery went to Cyprus, without its guns, on IS duties but returned to UK after only two months. In August 1960 the Battery went to Singapore and in October 1961 moved to Hong Kong. It was there that, on 23 October 1962 the Battery was ordered to the Aden protectorate for operations. This was due to Yemeni air attacks on Beihan State and eventually the Battery was deployed at Nugub and Beihan with a troop in reserve in Aden. This troop was later used from time to time in an infantry role. Several Yemeni aircraft were seen but all were out of range of the guns. The Battery was relieved in March 1963 and returned to Hong Kong. In August they returned to the UK for leave before moving to BAOR in October 1963.

In December 1969, 34 Lt AD Regiment, to which 11 Battery had belonged for over twenty years, was disbanded. The Battery then transferred to 22 Lt AD Regiment, which had moved to Dortmund from Wales. Since then the Battery have completed two tours in Northern Ireland, November 1971 to March 1972 and March to July 1975.

The Battery returned from IS duties Northern Ireland in March 1975, in September that year the Battery moved with the Regiment, to Kirton in Lindsey, South Humberside joining 3 (UK) Div. A year later the Battery Converted to Towed Rapier, Low Level Air Defence System. The following year the Battery moved back to BAOR.

In February 1984 the Battery was selected to be the first to be equipped with Tracked Rapier. Later that year in November the Battery went on operational tour of the Falkland Islands until March 1985.

In 1992 the Battery said farewell to 22 Regiment RA, and was transferred to 16 Regiment RA, at the same time both Regiments Arms plotted, with 16 Regiment RA moving Dortmund and 22 Regiment RA moving back to Kirton in Lindsey. In 1993 the Battery Deployed to Northern Ireland on operational tour of Belfast.On the 11 March 1994, 11 (Sphinx) Bty RA and Headquarters Bty 16 Regiment RA amalgamated to form 11 (Sphinx) Headquarter Bty RA. In August 1995 the Battery along with Regiment return to Centaur Barracks Home of the Royal Artillery, Woolwich, London. In 1998 the Battery along with the Regiment moved up the road to Napier Lines.
The Regiment is now stationed at North Luffingham Rutland.

Extracts copied from 11 Bty / MOD website Dec 08. (Site now defunkt)

In July 2009 the word " Headquarter " was removed from the Battery Designation,
and the Title reverted to 11 (Sphinx) Battery RA.

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                        Parent Units (Post War)

43 Regiment RA                                         1947 - Aug 1950
Independent Bty Aug 1950 - Oct 1951  
34 Lt AD Regt RA (Disbanded 1969)    Oct 1951 - Dec 1969
22nd AD Regt RA (Suspended 2004) Dec 1969 - Aug 1992
16 Regiment RA 1992      - Current

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Parent Units              Sister Battery's                         Transferred To

34 Lt AD Regt RA   11 (SPHINX) Battery  To 22 Regt RA
(Disbanded 1969) 58 (Eyre's) Battery       To 12 Regt RA     
    - - - - - - -          - - - - - - -   - - - - - - -
22nd AD Regt RA 11 (SPHINX) Battery  To 16 Regt RA     
(Suspended 2004) 42 (ALEM HAMZA) Battery    To 32 Regt RA
 53 (LOUISBURG) Battery  To 5 Regt RA
 35 Battery (Reformed 1985)       (Suspended April 2004)  
 35 Battery (Reformed July 2004)    To 39 Regt RA
     - - - - - - -          - - - - - - -   - - - - - - -
16 Regt RA11 (SPHINX) HQ Battery
32 (Minden) Battery
30 (Rogers Company)
14 (Coles Kop) Battery

Links to our Sister Battery's Sites are listed on our Contacts & Links Page

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  • THIRD MAHARATTA WAR      1817 -18       Army of India Medal with Bars
  • FIRST AFGHAN WAR              1839 - 40      Ghunzee Medal
  • PERSIAN WAR               1856 - 57  Recommended for the V.C. Capt Worgans
  • BOER WAR                     1899 - 1902

Distinguished Service Order           Lt JGP Wickham , Sgt Pilkington.

Distinguished Conduct Medal          Dvr Hester, Gnr Frost, Gnr Davis.

Mentioned in Despatches               Maj GG Simpson,Capt HR Gotto,
                                                        Capt AH Devenish, BSM Rinham.

  • THE GREAT WAR          1914 - 1918
Military Cross            WOII (BSM) A Horsfield.
Distinguished Conduct Medal   Sgt HA Thompson, Bdr J Caine,
Cpl HH Skinner, A/Bdr TR Walker, Dvr W Deakins.
Military Medal                               Sgt HH Skinner DCM, SgtRCCottle,           
Bdr VJ Calle, Cpl CE Cosgrove,
Cpl H Green, Gnrs A Ayres, A Cox,
Gnrs CD Heartsilver, N Rattigan, 
Dvrs AE Britt, G Dables.
Meritorious Service  Medal      WOII (BSM) A Horsfield MC.
Croix de Guerre                      Gnr CD Heartsilver MM.
  • WORLD WAR TWO        1939 - 1945

Medal Of St George 1st Class
Russian Decoration                            WOII (BSM) WJ Baker. 


Mentioned in Despatches
Bronze Oak Leaf.                              Maj LVF Fawkes OBE DSO MC RA

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Brigadier Guy Fawkes, who died in October 2003 aged 90, was awarded an MC in an action in front of the Gazala Line, North Africa, in 1942 and a DSO in an attack on the Mareth Line the next year.
On April 9 1942, Fawkes, then a major in command of a battery of 74 Field Regiment RA, was operating with a mixed column of tanks, artillery and infantry forward of the Gazala Line. The column was heavily shelled and attacked by tanks, but he set a fine example by his coolness under fire at one of his troop positions.
When three guns had been put out of action and the entire detachment of the fourth had been killed or wounded, Fawkes continued to fire the remaining gun until all his ammunition was exhausted.
He was the last to leave and, after making sure that his other troop had withdrawn safely, he went back to try to recover the gun sights, although it was almost certain that the position was in enemy hands. He was awarded an immediate MC.

Lindsay Valentine Francis Fawkes was born in South Africa on May 6 1913. Parachuting held a fascination for him from an early age and, as a child, he used to experiment in jumping from the roof of a house using bed sheets.
Fawkes went to Cheltenham College before attending the Royal Military Academy Woolwich. Known as "Guy" from his early days in the Army, he was posted to India in 1934 and served as second-in-command of 79 Field Battery at Fyzabad, Lucknow and Mhow. He transferred to 74 Field Regiment RA in 1941 and served as a troop commander in Cyprus and Iraq before taking command of his battery in North Africa.

On the night of March 20 1943, Fawkes's battery had the task of providing fire support to the 8th Battalion Durham Light Infantry in the attack on the heavily-defended Mareth line. When the battalion commander of the Durhams was killed and the second-in-command wounded, Fawkes encouraged the men to get forward while he crossed the Wadi Zigzaou under heavy machine-gun fire and dug himself an observation post which he occupied throughout the next day.
Fawkes sent back vital information, and when the battalion withdrew and his post came under tank fire, he continued to direct his battery on the advancing armour and infantry. His actions at a critical time were recognised by the award of the DSO.

Fawkes fought in Sicily with 74 Field Regiment RA before attending Staff College at Haifa. After a staff appointment at Algiers and Caserta, he served as Brigade Major RA at 8th Indian Division in Italy again.In 1950, after a number of staff and regimental appointments, Fawkes took command of 11 (Sphinx) LAA Battery in 27th Independent Infantry Brigade in Korea and was mentioned in dispatches.
In 1955, he commanded 33 Parachute Field Regiment and saw active service in Cyprus in operations against Eoka terrorists and in Egypt during the Suez crisis. He was appointed OBE in 1957.

In the second of two postings to Far East Land Forces in Singapore, Fawkes was appointed Commander RA of the 17th Gurkha Division; he was responsible for advising the C-in-C on artillery support for operations in North Borneo to counter Indonesian incursions across the border.

Fawkes was ADC to the Queen from 1966 to 1968, when he retired from the Army.

He moved to a village near Farnham, Surrey, and embarked on a second career as a stockbroker in London. He enjoyed fishing, shooting and gardening, and would climb apple trees to gather the fruit until he was well into his eighties.

He married, in 1945, Susan Kemble, who predeceased him. He is survived by a son and a daughter.

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             History Of The Royal Artillery.
Anti-Aircraft Artillery 1914 - 1955.
By Brigadier NW Routledge OBE TD 

        In 1950, full-scale war broke out in Korea, when the North, supplied and backed by the Soviet Union, invaded the South. America responded to a call for help in repelling Communist aggression. The successful intervention of American troops then brought China into the War in support of the North Koreans. Attempts by the United Nations to solve the issue peaceably failed through the Soviet use of its Veto powers, and a large Multi-National force was formed by the UN under American overall command, to which two British Brigades were sent. In July 1951 these expanded to a full Commonwealth Division, with Artillery support, heavily engaged in bitter close fighting.

        Although the Chinese operated Air Attacks, by modern Mig 15 fighters and with Soviet assistance, the combined Allied UN Air Force exercised superiority in tactics and numbers, so that the main air battles were fought in air-to-air combat over and beyond the front line.

        Anti Aircraft defence was not a critical factor in the campaign and the three British LAA Batteries sent to Korea were largely committed to other ground role tasks.

         The three were 11th (SPHINX) arriving in November 1950, 120th in October 1951 and 42nd a month later. There was a great demand for firepower in the ground role to deal with massed Chinese Infantry attacks. All three Batteries were therefore reorganised to contain one large 40mm Gun Troop and three Troops equipped with Mortars. 

          Some LAA Troops had a rather dull time in AA Defence of Brigades and HQs, but the remainder were heavily engaged in Bombardment, Harassing, Counter-Battery and “Bunker Busting” tasks.

           11th (SPHINX) LAA Battery, for example, had a series of very close actions in support of 29th Infantry Brigade in April 1952, in the struggle to hold Hills 257 and 398 against strong Chinese Attacks, in which Enemy Infantry penetrated the UN Field Artillery Area. The Battery drove the Chinese out with sustained 40mm fire and mounted a Counter-Attack to force them back across the Imjin River, gaining a respite for 45th Field Regiment to be pulled back into more secure positions.

         More close fighting followed.

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