Fife Artillery Volunteers

Artillery Volunteer in St. Andrews c1862

ArtVolThe Fife Artillery was formed in 1860 with several of the coastal towns forming batteries. The various batteries were attached to the 1st Administration Brigade Fifeshire Artillery Volunteers when it was formed on 27th November 1860. Headquarters of the Brigade was intially at Kirkcaldy but moved to St. Andrews in 1861.

  1. Ferryport-on-Craig (Tayport) - formed January 26th 1860
  2. Newport - formed April 13th 1860
  3. St. Andrews - formed March 6th 1860
  4. Inverkeithing - formed March 3rd 1860
  5. Kirkcaldy - formed March 22nd 1860
  6. Burntisland - formed February 20th 1860
  7. Elie - formed March 8th 1860, Headquarters transferred to Anstruther in 1872
  8. Leven - formed July 24th 1860, Initially two batteries, reduced to one and a half in 1866 and to one in 1875
  9. Dysart - formed September 19th 1860
  10. East Wemyss - formed January 16th 1862 out of the overflow from the 8th
  11. Kinghorn - formed April 30th 1863
In 1863 the Stirlingshire Artillery Volunteers were added to the brigade

  1. Grangemouth - formed March 27th 1860
  2. Stirling - initially as one subdivision May 30th 1860 but had enough recruits to increase to a battery April 17th 1861

In 1880 the brigade was consolidated and retitled the 1st Fifeshire Artillery Volunteers, headquarters at St. Andrews, the Fife batteries retaining their previous numbers and the Stirlingshire corps becoming the 12th and 13th batteries.

In 1882 the 7th battery (Anstruther) was disbanded and in its place a new 7th formed at St. Andrews from University Students and Staff. In March 1888 the 2nd battery (Newport) was moved to Kirkcaldy

In 1889 a position battery of 16-pounder guns was issued to the corps and manned by the 3rd (St. Andrews) Battery with extra personnel specially raised. In 1892 this became the 1st Position battery, the 1st(Tayport) became the 2nd and the 2nd(Kirkcaldy) became the 3rd. A new 14th Battery was formed at Kirkcaldy on March 1st 1900 and the headquarters of the Corps was moved to Kirkcaldy in October 1906, so the final make up of the Brigade before the Territorial reforms of 1908 was :-

  1. St. Andrews (Heavy Battery)
  2. Tayport
  3. Kirkcaldy
  4. Inverkeithing
  5. Kirkcaldy
  6. Burntisland
  7. St. Andrews
  8. Leven
  9. Dysart
  10. East Wemyss
  11. Kinghorn
  12. Grangemouth
  13. Stirling
  14. Kirkcaldy

Uniform

Initially like other volunteers the various batteries organised their own uniforms leading to various differences between units, although the differences were not as marked between Artillery Units as the Rifle Volunteers. All of the batteries wore long blue skirted tunics with red or scarlet collars and black Austrian knots on the sleeves, blue caps (black band and red piping), blue trousers and white or brown belts with either the Royal Arms or the Thane of Fife on the belt-plate.

In 1863 the whole Brigade adopted the regulation artillery tunic with scarlet cord, busby and forage cap with scarlet band, and the Thane of Fife belt-plates on brown belts which were discarded later for white. Although the busby is recorded most photographs of the time show the forage caps and I suspect it may have only been used by officers and musicians, the uniforms from now on follow regulation Royal Artillery pattern with distinctions only in the colour of the cord piping and unit badges and shoulder titles. The blue home service helmet was introduced in 1881 and was worn until the end of the period.