UBIQUE 150 EXHIBIT
The UBIQUE 150 Exhibit will open at the RCA Museum on 1 April 2021. The purpose of this exhibit is to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the formation of A and B Batteries. These units were the first "full-time" or "regular" elements of the post-Confederation Canadian Army. They represent a significant step in the advancement of Canada.
In 2021, the RCA Museum will celebrate UBIQUE 150 as part of a series of meaningful local, regional, and national activities. The Regiment designed the campaign to nurture the esprit de corps, celebrate our regimental heritage, and connect with Canadians.
THE FOUNDING OF A AND B BATTERIES
After Confederation, Britain pushed for Canada to provide for its defence. By 1871, most of the British Regulars had left, except in Halifax. Canada responded by authorizing the formation of A and B Batteries of Garrison Artillery and Schools of Gunners at Kingston, Ontario and Quebec City, Quebec. LCol G. A. French commanded A Battery and LCol T. B. Strange commanded B Battery.
These initial two batteries were “total force” units and had a profound impact. They helped provide well trained NCO’s and Gunners across Canada. They established themselves as an efficient branch of the Canadian militia.
Today, A and B Batteries of the 1 RCHA can trace their origins to the formation of these batteries. They present part of the early history of The Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery. They were the first “full-time” and “regular” elements of the Canadian militia and represent a watershed event in Canadian military history.
THE MEANING OF UBIQUE 150
The UBIQUE 150 events are of historical importance to the Regiment and Canada itself. These events provide a platform for the Regiment to celebrate their unique history and heritage. They contribute to the Regimental Family Strategy Mission of "fostering a credible, relevant, cohesive and valued Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery."
The celebration advances at least five of the strategy's goals, including heritage recognition, development and employment, leadership advancement, nurturing the regimental family, and connecting with Canadians.
The RCA remains a key and active member of the Canadian Army. The RCA is a family of regular and reserve soldiers that depend on each other. The RCA is more than just the guns and guaranteed close support for the infantry. They provide surveillance and target acquisition, fire support coordination, airspace coordination, 24/7 precision strike, ground-based air defence and more. UBIQUE 150 provides a platform to celebrate the Regiment.
A lot has changed over the past one hundred and fifty years. Guns shifted from smaller mobile pieces to larger guns for indirect fire. The guns incorporated the period's technology, increasing firing rates, lethality, mobility, precision, and ranges.
Advances in technology allowed the Regiment to upgrade its guns and establish artillery supremacy on the battlefield. The guns are much more than the equipment to those who serve them. The colours of the Regiment are also its guns. Each gun bears the Cypher of the Sovereign and represents the strength and perseverance of the Regiment.
Canadian Gunners are always ready to adopt new technologies. Today, we see rapidly changing technologies, including sophisticated artillery and precision-guided munitions, and next-generation fire-control systems. Gunners take great pride in their past and look forward to the challenges of tomorrow.
In 1871, the 9-Pounder smoothbore, muzzle-loading, bronze cannon fired common, case, and shrapnel rounds approximately one kilometre.
In 1902, the 12 Pounder included a one-piece rifled steel barrel, a self-contained firing mechanism, breech-loading technology that increased the fire rate, and a spade under the trail that reduced recoil.
In 1918, the 18 Pounder included a hydraulic recoil mechanism to absorb the forces caused by firing, fixed shell and cartridge ammunition, modern optical sites for indirect fire, and gun shields to protect the Gunners.
In 1945, the 25 Pounder operated as a howitzer/field gun, incorporating a muzzle brake for improved effectiveness and a firing platform with 360 degrees traverse.
In 1970, the M109 used state-of-the-art technology for a high-intensity mechanized battlefield with enhanced range, accuracy, firing speed, and explosive power.
Today, the M777 incorporates a digitized fire-control system, precision-guided projectiles, GPS data and inertial navigation, with a range of forty kilometres.
It is important to celebrate our military heritage. Events such as this act as learning tools for the next generation. It is an honour to present the RCA Museum's UBIQUE 150 Exhibit. We are immensely proud of the contributions and achievements of The Regiment of Canadian Artillery over the past 150 years.
The 150th celebration of A and B Batteries' founding creates an excellent opportunity to celebrate the Regiment's unique history and heritage. The past reinforces the attributes of the Regiment and encourages new contributions.