COLOURS in the ARTILLERY
guns are The Colours
guns of the Royal Regiment of Australian Artillery are its Colours. On
ceremonial occasions the guns on parade are accorded the same
compliments as the Colours and Guidons of the Corps of Staff Cadets, the
Infantry Regiments and the Royal Australian Armoured Corps.
Colours of a unit represent the spirit of the Regiment. In the days when
the infantry carried their Colours into battle they were to be found in
the centre of the front rank, a position in which they were easily seen
and recognised, for they acted as a rallying point for the soldiers. The
rallying point for Gunners has always been the guns.
until the turn of the century guns were deployed in the open, in full
view of the enemy, and the detachments were instilled with the tradition
of serving their guns under fire and to abandon them was, and still is,
the ultimate disgrace.
version of the guns being the Colours goes back to the days when the
largest piece in an artillery train carried the equivalent of today's
Queen's Colour and it was known as the 'Colour' or 'Flag Gun'. In the
latter part of the eighteenth century this practice ceased and the guns
themselves became the Colours.
the guns on parade, be they a Regiment's worth (18
guns), a Battery (6 guns),
or a section (which in the case of a heavy battery
is 1 gun), constitute the Colours.
All the guns are paid the correct compliments and respect, not just the
first gun of the group.
are many occasions when it is impracticable to pay compliments to the
Colours; however, they are to be treated at all times with the greatest
dignity and respect. Such practices as smoking on or near them,
decorating them for social occasions, hanging clothing off them,
sitting, standing or leaning on them, and leaving them unprotected, are