A full History of The Royal Artillery Hunt (up to 1992) was researched and documented in the book “Hounds, Hares and Foxes of Larkhill” written by a keen hunt subscriber and supporter, the late Estelle Holloway. This book was published in 1992, is currently out of print. However, Estelle, as the copyright holder, very kindly and generously granted the hunt permission to reproduce the publication.
Copies are available from the Hunt Shop.
The following is a precis of the history of the hunt:-
In 1907 Mr A E Hussey gave his pack of pure-bred harriers to the artillery officers stationed at Bulford to become the RA (Bulford) Harriers. The pack was hunted until its demise in World War I. The hunt was revived during 1919 – 1920 and Lady Hobart lent the Isle of Wight pack to the Royal Artillery for a season. In 1920 the Instow pack of West Country Harriers was purchased for £300. These were mainly old hounds as harriers were scarce after the war. Major General E Harrison went on to create a pack based on these hounds together with pure-bred harriers which excelled both in the hunting field and ‘on the flags’ during the ‘twenties and ‘thirties. It was originally laid down that each brigade at Bulford and Larkhill should provide at least one whipper-in and opening meets were always celebrated at Bulford Mess.
In September 1939 war was declared. Only foxhounds would be given rations as part of pest control during the wartime effort. The Hunt Record says:
“All RA Harriers, except 7 couples, destroyed on outbreak of war. All Royal Artillery Officers proceed on active service with their units.”
The remaining hounds were made up with foxhounds and taken over by the cavalry at Tidworth. During their conversion period they were kennelled at Major Edmund’s farm in Cholderton, hunting the south Tedworth country. In September 1946 the Royal Artillery Hunt (Salisbury Plain) was recognised by the MFHA. Lieutenant Colonel “Gilly” Gillman laid the foundation of a fast, keen-scenting ‘Plain-type Country’ hound, while Lieutenant Colonel Freddy Edmeades maintained the tradition of building a superb pack of foxhounds.
From 1946 the Masters were:- Brig. J.H. Gibbon, Lt. Col. L.H.O. Pugh, Maj. J.M. Douglas, Maj. H.C.R. Gillman, Maj. F.B. Edmeades, Maj. P.D.E. Riall, Lt. Col. F.B. Edmeades, Lt. Col. Peter Heaton-Ellis, Maj. David Thatcher, Lt. Col. John Jago, Maj. Jonathon Seed and Lt. Col. Nick Foster until 2004 when multiple military and civilian masters were introduced as follows:-
Lt. Col. Simon Hall RA, Maj. Erica Bridge (1st lady Master) RA, Maj. Ed Botterill RA
Maj. Ed Botterill, Brian Toogood Esq (1st Civilian Master), Maj. Paul Snodgrass RA
Brian Toogood Esq, Maj. Paul Snodgrass RA
Brian Toogood Esq, Maj. Paul Snodgrass RA
Brian Toogood Esq (appointed Vice President), Maj. Ed Botterill RA, Mrs. Jillie Arnold, Mrs. Pippa Grob
Lt. Col. Nick Hornby (appointed Vice President), Maj. Ed Botterill, Mrs. Pippa Grob, Maj. Mark Edward, Phil Hodson Esq
Mrs. Pippa Grob, Phil Hodson Esq, Maj. Mark Edward RA, Lt. Col Dickie Winchester RA
Lt. Col. John Jago OBE (appointed Vice President), Mrs. Pippa Grob, Phil Hodson Esq, Col. Dickie Winchester RA
Mrs. Pippa Grob, Phil Hodson Esq, Col. Dickie Winchester RA
Mrs.Pippa Grob, Phil Hodson Esq, Lt. Col. Angus Cameron, Maj. Mark Edward RHA
Mrs. Pippa Grob, Phil Hodson Esq., Lt. Col. Angus Cameron, Maj. Mark Edward RA
Mrs. Pippa Grob, Lt. Col. Angus Cameron MBE RA, Maj. Mark Edward RA
Mrs. Pippa Grob, Lt. Col. Angus Cameron MBE RA, Mrs Anne Price, Major Neil Cross RA
Since 1946 the following have been Honorary Hunt Secretaries:-
1958 – 1967 Maj. Tom Davison
1967 – 1967 Col, John Stevenson
1968 – 1968 Maj. Brian Carr and Mr Brian Richards
1968 – 1979 Brig. Dick Webster
1970 – 1972 Maj. Tom Prior
1972 – 1978 Maj. Robert Barton
1978 – 1985 Col. Paddy de Burgh
1985 – 2010 Lt. Col. Nick Hornby
2008 – Mrs. Ali Wilson
2015 – Miss. P. Baker (Field Secretary)
In February 2005 the ban on hunting became law and the hunt is now registered with the MDH and well as the MFHA. The Royal Artillery Hunt has overcome the ban and is grateful for the support and assistance of the Salisbury Plain Training Area, the South and West Wiltshire Hunt and the Tedworth Hunt.