Standing Orders for The Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery (1963)
Right of the Line
The Regimental Badge of
The Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery
The Royal Canadian Horse Artillery (RCHA) Badge
141. Although all Gunners are aware of the Royal Regiment of Artillery's order of precedence as "The Right of the Line", very few know how this honour was acquired.
142. It has not been clearly established exactly when the Royal Artillery was given its position on the "Right of the Line" but it was very likely in Flanders l742-l748. There is a record where, in l742, at a camp at Lexden Heath near Colchester, "The Artillery on its own authority, moved from the left of the camp to the right, which was its customary place."
143. In l756, the matter was brought to official notice on a complaint by a Capt Pattison, whose company of artillery was denied its usual place on the right during a parade to witness the execution of a deserter. He based his claim on the custom in Flanders. The claim was upheld and the official letter on the subject concluded as follows:
"It is the Duke of Cumberland's order that Colonel Bedford write to Capt Pattison and acquaint General Blond, it is His Royal Highness' command that the Artillery take the right of all FOOT on all parades and likewise of Dragoons when dismounted."
144. In 1773, at Gibraltar, the Commander Royal Artillery protested that the governor had changed the accepted order of precedence in parading the Guards. The protest was then taken to His Majesty, who upheld the Gunners claim. The custom was again upheld in 1787 when it was questioned whether the Royal Irish Artillery should parade on the right or left of the Royal Military Artificers who were then next in order of precedence after the Royal Artillery. The answer to this question was: "The Royal Artillery to be on the right, either English or Irish, there is no exception."
145. The Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery holds the place of honour on the "Right of the Line" by reason of the fact that the Canadian Army has adopted many of the customs and traditions of the British Army.
The same Standing Orders provided that precedence within the Artillery would be as follows:
a. Field Artillery Branch
(1) Royal Canadian Horse Artillery Regiments
(2) Field Artillery Regiments
(3) Medium Artillery Regiments
(4) Surface to Surface Missile Units
(5) Locating Units
(6) Air Observation Post Units
b. Air Defence Artillery