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NZ Regiment of Volunteer Artillery

Formed on 3rd December 1878 from Volunteer Artillery units throughout New Zealand, the NZ Regiment of Volunteer Artillery existed until 26 January 1903 when it was renamed the Regiment of New Zealand Artillery Volunteers. In that time it formed a vital link in the defence of New Zealand with batteries in the North and South Islands. Initially, Batteries A to K were formed and the Regiment was expanded in 1879 with Batteries L and M, and in 1885 with Batteries N and O.

In 1886, the Regiment was reorganised into

  • 1st (North Island) Artillery Brigade, and
  • 2nd (South Island) Artillery Brigade.

Generally, the regiment comprised:

  • 'A' (Auckland) Bty formed from the Auckland Arty Vol, itself formed in 1874 from No 1 (Royal) Coy Auckland Rifle Volunteers, replacing the Auck Arty Vol that had been formed from the Auck Naval Arty Vol (16/1/68)
  • 'B' (Dunedin) Bty was the Dunedin Arty Vol (19/2/64)
  • 'C' (Timaru) Bty was the Timaru Arty Vol (31/10/66)
  • 'D' (Wellington) Bty was the Wgtn Arty Vol (22/7/67)
  • 'E' (Christchurch) Bty was the Christchurch Arty Vol, which was No 1 Coy Canterbury Rifle Volunteers
  • 'F' (Napier) Bty was the Napier Arty Vol (28/7/70)
  • 'G' (Invercargill) Bty was the Artillery element of the Invercargill Volunteers in 1878 which in turn traced its origins to the Invercargill Arty Vol (19/1/72)
  • 'H' (Nelson) Bty was the Nelson Arty Vol (formed in 21/3/78)
  • 'I' (Oamaru) Bty was the Oamaru Arty Vol (1/7/75)
  • 'J' (Cook County) Bty was the Cook County Arty Vol (26/11/78)
  • 'K' (Invercargill) Bty was the Invercargill Engr Arty Vol (6/12/78)
  • 'L' (Port Chalmers) Bty was the Port Chalmers Naval Vol, which was already in existence in 1866
  • 'M' (Queenstown) Bty was the Queenstown Rifle Volunteers (11/11/79)
  • 'N' (Lyttleton) Bty was the Lyttleton Arty Vol (10/4/85)
  • 'O' (Parnell) Bty was the Parnell (Auck) Arty Vol (30/4/85)

In 1883, the two Invercargill batteries, G and K, amalgamated as 'G' (Invercargill) Bty NZ Regt of Vol Arty. In 1885, N and O Batteries were added. Reorganisation wef 18 March 1886:

  • 1st (North Island) Artillery Brigade
    • A Bty (Auckland)
    • D Bty (Wellington)
    • F Bty (Napier)
    • H Bty (Nelson) transferred from 2nd (South Island) Brigade 20/4/86
    • J Bty (Gisborne) disbanded 1/1/87, reformed 3/3/87, disbanded 29/10/88
    • O Bty (Parnell) disbanded 1891
  • 2nd (South Island) Artillery Brigade
    • B Bty (Dunedin)
    • C Bty (Timaru)
    • E Bty (Christchurch)
    • G Bty (Invercargill)
    • H Bty (Nelson) transferred to 1st (North Island) Brigade 20/4/86
    • I Bty (Oamaru)
    • L Bty (Port Chalmers)
    • M Bty (Queenstown) added to 2nd Arty Bde 19/8/97, disbanded 1/5/90
    • N Bty (Lyttleton)

The Artillery Brigade structure did not persist. The 1890s saw a major shift in the volunteer force in the South Island, with C and G Batteries being converted to Rifle Volunteers in 1897, I Bty in 1898 and L Bty amalgamated with Port Chalmers Naval Arty Vol in 1894. In the North Island, F Bty was converted to Napier Gds Rifle Vol in 1898 and did not rejoin the artillery until 1911. By 1900 only A, B, D, E, H, and N Btys remained in existence. In May 1911, the Field Artillery Brigades of Auckland, Wellington, Canterbury and Otago were formed from these batteries.

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See also:
Artillery in Auckland, 1860 - 1937
Artillery in Canterbury and Nelson, 1860 - 1937
Artillery in Napier
Early artillery in Wellington
4 (G) Medium Battery
3 Field Regiment
Guns around NZ