Kiwi Gunners First to Mark 300th Anniversary of Royal Artillery

23 May 2016

The Royal New Zealand Artillery will fire guns at dawn in several North Island locations and demonstrate their skills with a gun run in Palmerston North to mark 300 years since the formation of Britain’s Royal Artillery.

At dawn on Thursday 26 May, which is known as Gunners Day, soldiers from the New Zealand Army’s 16th Field Regiment will fire three blank rounds in seven North Island locations. Each of the three rounds fired from the 105mm L119 Light Gun marks 100 years in the history of the formation of Britain’s Royal Regiment of Artillery.

In the South Island, a gun will be fired from the waterfront in Dunedin by former members of 31 (B) Battery. Commemorations will continue with a gun run in Palmerston North at midday.

The first dawn gun will be fired from the Soundshell in Napier, with rounds then fired at one minute intervals from Auckland’s North Head Reserve in Devonport, Hamilton, Waiouru, Linton, Levin, and Wellington.

At midday in the Square in Palmerston North, gunners from 16th Field Regiment will compete in a gun run, which will involve two teams of seven competing in an obstacle course with 105mm Light Guns, or Howitzers. Blank rounds will be fired during the course of the race. Members of the public are invited to watch and will also be able to learn more about the Artillery’s firepower from a display of vintage and current guns in the Square, from 10am-1pm.

16th Field Regiment Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Ben Bagley, said the Kiwi gunners were keen to support their British counterparts in beginning the international celebrations of their 300th anniversary.

“We’re hoping everyone near the Square on the 26th will come and see the gun run. It’ll be quite a spectacle and a lot of fun.”


The sites for the 16th Field Regiment dawn guns are:

  • Soundshell, Marine Parade, Napier
  • North Head Reserve, Devonport, Auckland
  • Memorial Park, River Road, Hamilton
  • Waiouru Military Camp
  • Linton Military Camp
  • Gladstone Reserve, Levin
  • Trentham Military Camp, Wellington.

For further information, please contact Defence Public Affairs on 021 487 980


This page was last reviewed on 23 May 2016.