K is for Kings Troop

The King’s Troop, Royal Horse Artillery was founded in 1947 and is a ceremonial unit of the British Army. The Artillery unit fire royal salutes on royal anniversaries and state occasions, including birthdays and funerals. The unit's soldiers drive a team of six magnificent horses that pull each of the six First World War-era field guns. They also mount the Queen's life guard at Horse Guards parade each summer. The King's Troop also has a vital operational role, with soldiers recently deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. 

Each of the troop's six 13-pounder field guns was used in the First World War, and some were also brought out of store for use as emergency anti-tank guns for home defense in the Second World War. 'Ubique' is the Royal Artillery’s moto meaning 'Everywhere' in recognition of their participation in every theatre of war. Prior to a salute or parade, it takes 15 cans of wood polish, seven tubes of metal polish, a can of linseed oil, four cans of penetrating oil and 13 man-hours to turn out a gun and limber. The majority of parts required for the guns can no longer be sourced and so must be hand-machined by highly skilled soldiers from the Royal Electrical Mechanical Engineers.

The farriers who tend to the ‘Galloping Gunners’ are of the highest calibre. The King's Troop forge is the current reigning champion of the London Cup and Inter-regimental Farriery Competition; he forges shoes of over 70 horses a week. The horses are very well looked after and one obedient six-year-old has taught himself to clean up his own stable. Llamrei, a member of the Household Mounted Regiment has learned how to sweep out his stable by biting a broom with his teeth and swinging it along the ground when mucking out the stables, helping the troopers with their daily chores. Trooper John Yates, 18, of the Blues and Royals Squadron, said: "It was refreshing to see one of the horses pull their weight in the stables. Llamrei has become a Troop legend already. ‘’He showed real selfless commitment the other day.

These days the horses are stabled in Woolwich outside of the capital, they are transported to central London to perform during state occasions in Hyde Park and Green Park. The horses you see riding in London maybe from The Household Cavalry Stables on Buckingham Palace Road.

 

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