Welcome to Raglan Barracks, the home of 104 th
Royal Artillery. The Regiment has been in existence since
April 1967 and has, in that time, met many challenges and seen many changes. Today, as we enter the brave new world of Army 2020 and the transition from the Territorial
Army to the Army Reserve, we are meeting the challenge with enthusiasm and drive. With our determination to make the Army Reserve concept a success both in recruiting and training we will continue to offer exciting opportunities for young people from the Newport community. Today we celebrate the great strides the Regiment is making by hosting a Beating Retreat. I hope you will all enjoy the evening and look forward to welcoming you back to Raglan
Barracks in the future.
Beating Retreat is a military ceremony dating back to 16th century England and was first used to recall nearby patrolling units to their castle.
Beating Retreat has its origins in the early years of organised warfare when the beating of drums and the parading of Post Guards heralded the closing of camp gates and the lowering of flags at the end of the day.
An order from the army of James II of England, dated 18
June 1690, had his drums beating an order for his troops to retreat and a later order, from William III in 1694, read:
"The Drum Major and Drummers of the Regiment which gives a Captain of the Main Guard are to beat the Retreat through the large street, or as may be ordered. They are to be answered by all the Drummers of the guards, and by four
Drummers of each Regiment in their respective Quarters".
The ceremony of Beating Retreat still continues today and has evolved into a colourful pageant of military music and precision drill.
Director of Music
– Major Denis Burton MMus FLCM ARCM psm
The Regimental Band & Corps of Drums of The Royal Welsh appear with the kind permission of
Lieutenant Colonel N O Crewe-Read MBE BSc RWELSH
Spectators are requested to stand for the playing of Sunset and National Anthems.
Gentlemen are to remove head dress or salute if in uniform.
Spectators should remain seated during the March Off.
The City of Newport Pipes & Drums: The Sound of Scotland in Wales
The Regimental Band and Corps of Drums of the Royal Welsh
From the Musical
Quick and Slow
Farewell to the Slavic Woman
1812 Overture (abridged)
Supported by 105 mm Light Guns
God Save the Queen
Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau
Men of Harlech
Desert Hawk 3 Unmanned Air System
Main Equipment Capability of 104 th
Regiment Royal Artillery
The leasehold of the land on which the barracks now stands was given in 1843 by the Morgan family to the Master General of the Ordnance, a post on the Army
Board which still exists. The lease is for 999 years and requires that the land be used for the construction of a barracks which must then not be left vacant for more than two years. In the event of either of the contingencies, the leasehold reverts to the freeholder. The head of the Morgan family, as is well known, acquired the title of Lord Tredegar in 1859.
In 1843-45, some ten years after Queen Victoria came to the throne, a barracks was built on this land to house a cavalry regiment with all necessary accommodation for officers, NCOs, men and horses. The construction included a hospital, riding school and cell block for miscreants. The barrack clock installed in the prominent tower on the main barrack block was made in 1845 by the celebrated
London firm of Vulliamy. The barracks was built predominately of old red sandstone, but the surrounding walls are mostly of limestone.
It is interesting to note that the barracks was built shortly after the Chartist riots in
Newport in 1839 and this accounts for its commanding position on the hill above the old town centre and also for the added defences of the walls. The latter are constructed so that any attacker may be engaged in both enfilade and defilade. At that time, of course, none of the housing development on barrack hill or at Alt-yr-Yn had taken place.
The barracks was opened in 1845 and occupied by a variety of cavalry and infantry units, changing in accordance with the rather more leisurely dictates of the defence requirements of those times. They included such units as the Gordan Highlanders and the Royal Hampshire Regiment. The occupants at the outbreak of World War I were the 5 th
Royal Iniskilling Dragoon Guards and the barracks was then known locally as the ‘Cavalry Barracks’.
During World War I, they were used as an assembly and training camp for recruits and, in the period between the two world wars, were the accommodation for a headquarters and two batteries of the Royal Horse Artillery. With this long Gunner occupation, the barracks became known as the ‘Artillery Barracks’. When mechanisation put an end to the horses, they were sold at the barracks.
During and following the Second World War, the barracks was occupied by 56
Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery, until the disbandment of Anti-Aircraft
Command in 1954-55. It was then used in 1956 as transit accommodation for troops and stores awaiting shipment from South Wales' ports to the Mediterranean for the Suez Canal Operation. In 1958 the Ministry of Defence tried to sell the leasehold to the GPO, but nothing came of this. Later in the same year, the freehold of the site was acquired from the Tredegar estate by a firm of property speculators.
In 1963 the barracks was transferred to the control of the Monmouthshire Territorial and Auxiliary Forces Association and a substantial rebuild took place to convert it for Territorial Army use. This involved the erection of a new drill shed and a REME workshop and the following conversions: The old riding school into a garage, the old hospital into an officers’ mess and the old cellblock and exercise yard into an armoury and magazine.
The new Territorial Army Centre was opened on 23 rd
April 1965 by Lady Raglan. It was named ‘Raglan Barracks’ at the wish of Lord Raglan who was then President of the Monmouthshire TA Association
‘to commemorate one of Monmouthshire’s more successful soldiers, the Lord Raglan, Commander in Chief of the British Army in the Crimea’. Lord Raglan unfortunately died the year before the opening, in
The original TA occupants of the barracks were, Battalion HQ and HQ Company, the 2 nd
Monmouthshire Regiment, (who moved from the drill hall on Stow Hill,
Newport), 3 and 344 Squadrons, Royal Corps of Signals (Ex Malpas drill hall), 580
Company RASC. (Ex Temple Street drill hall), 158 Infantry Brigade Workshops
REME (Ex Blaen y Pant) and two sections of 53 (Welsh) Division Provost Company
Royal Military Police.
In 1967, after one of the many recent defence reviews, the barracks was occupied by 104 Light Air Defence Regiment, Royal Artillery (Volunteers) and B Company of the 3 rd
(Volunteer) Battalion of the Royal Regiment of Wales. It also houses detachments of the Army Cadet Force and the Air Training Corps. It is now one of the largest and best equipped Territorial Army Volunteer Reserve Centres in Wales.
For the foreseeable future, this ancient and historic barracks will go on as it is now, the home of Newport’s volunteer soldiers. Following TA restructuring under Options for Change B Company the 3 rd
(Volunteer) Royal Regiment of Wales moved out of the barracks.
In 1993 the Regiment changed its name and became 104 th
Regiment Royal Artillery
(Volunteers) and the barracks houses the Regimental Headquarters, 217 (City of
Newport) Battery, detachments of the Army Cadet Force and 210 Squadron Air
In 2007 the Regiment changed its role from Air Defence to an Unmanned Aerial
Vehicle (UAV) Regiment.
Under the recent defence restructuring the Territorial Army is now known as the
Army Reserve and (Volunteers) has been removed from the Regiment
Guardroom / Main gate.
RHQ Main Entrance
WOs’ & Sgts’ Mess
Not to Scale
Gwent Police Stand
Regt’l Information Stand
Drinks & Canapés