108 Field Battery Association

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1. In the beginning there was chaos and the chaos was the Infantry, for the Infantry was alone.
2. And fear was with the Infantry and they cried unto the Lord saying, "Lord, save us for we are afraid."
3. And the Lord heard their grunts and set some of the Infantry on beasts of burden and these he called Cavalry, and the Cavalry became Armour.
4. And when the Lord had seen what he had done he laughed saying, "Well, you can't win them all."
5. The Infantry and the Armour again cried out to the Lord saying, "Lord, save us for we are afraid." And the Lord heard their cried and decided to end their weeping.
6. And the Lord said unto them, "Lo and behold, I send you a race of men noble in heart and spirit." And the Lord created the Gunners.
7. And the Lord said unto the Infantry and Armour, "When it is dark, the Gunners shall light your way."
8. And when you need smoke, there shall be smoke, and when you need HE, WP, H & I and counter-battery fire, all this ye shall have."
9. And the Lord gave the Gunners big guns and field guns, and the Infantry and Armour were jealous for they had naught.
10. And the Infantry cried out saying, "Lord, thou hast created the Infantry as Queen of Battles, but now thou hast made the Gunners King of Battles and well knowest thou what the King does to the Queen."
11. And the Lord replied, "Right on!"
12. And the Lord gave unto the Artillery rockets and missiles and, best of all, nukes. And when the Infantry and Armour saw this they fell to their knees in wonder saying, "Surely God is on the side of the greatest - THE GUNNERS."
13. And the Lord sayeth, "You got that right."

Now abideth Infantry, Armour, and Artillery; but the greatest of these is..."Artillery".

Origins of the white lanyard

By The Royal Artillery Institution

There has long been a tale about the Gunners wearing a white lanyard for cowardice, allegedly for deserting their guns, but the story is nothing more than a piece of leg pulling. However, it is time to put this particular story to rest.
Lanyards came into use in the late 19th century when Field Gunners manned the 12 and 15 Pounder equipments, ammunition for which had a fuze set with a fuze key. The key was a simple device, and every man had one, attached to a lanyard worn around the neck. The key itself tended to be kept in the breast pocket until needed. The lanyard was simply a piece of strong cord, but in time it was a typical soldier's reaction to turn it into something a bit more decorative. It was smartened up with white ink or even blanco, and braided, gradually taking its present form.
Prior to the South African War, Gunners were issued with steel folding hoof picks, carried on the saddle or in the jacket. In about 1903 these were withdrawn and replaced with jack-knives, which were carried in the left breast pocket of the Service Dress attached to the lanyard over the left shoulder.
During the two World Wars, the lanyard could be used as an emergency firing lanyard for many of the guns, because they had a firing mechanism which operated like a trigger. The lanyard could be attached to the trigger mechanism and allowed the Gunner to stand clear of the gun's recoil.
The question of which shoulder bore the lanyard depends on the date. There is no certainty about this, but the change from the left shoulder to the right probably took place at about the time of the Great War, when the bandoleer was introduced, because it was worn over the left shoulder. But there are some who insist that 1924 was the date of change, when the sloping of rifles over the left shoulder would soil the white lanyard.
Eventually in 1933, the end of the lanyard was simply tucked into the breast pocket without the jack-knife, though many will remember that it often was kept in place with the soldier's pay-book! On the demise of Battledress, the lanyard disappeared for a short time, but returned as part of the dress of the Royal Regiment of Artillery in 1973.
For those still plagued by jokers, the simplest answer to any leg-pulling is to invite the joker to produce evidence; no change can take place to any Army's dress regulations without an appropriate order, and since no such evidence exists, the joker's story falls flat on its face.

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