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.
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 1957 a detachment from the Battery took part in Clives Campaign near
Calcutta and were involved in the Battles of Chandernagore and Plassey.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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, where they remain
to this day.