Webpage created: September 29, 2019
Webpage updated: September 29, 2019
DEVON ROYAL GARRISON ARTILLERY
Although the history behind the Devon Royal Garrison Artillery is as old as the need to defend Britain's coastline, the title itself did not come in to use until June 1st 1899. They and their associated Volunteer units were required to man the guns of a fortress in peace time and at war.
In Plymouth the Devon Royal Garrison Artillery manned the Royal Citadel and all the batteries, forts and emplacement surrounding the Town and the Royal Dockyard.
It was not until 1912 that the Devon RGA got anywhere decent to hold their drill practices. On October 26th 1912 the Earl Fortescue, Lord-Lieutenant of Devon, opened a new head-quarters building just opposite the main gate of the Royal Citadel. The site had once been the outer escarpment of the Citadel and during excavation work it was discovered that it had also be used as a tip.
Designed by Mr T Rogers Kitsell, architect, of Tavistock Place, Plymouth, it was built of local red bricks with Bath stone and local granite dressings. The style was described as English Renaissance and the total cost of the building was £3,000.
To the right of the entrance hall was the men's reading and recreation room, measuring 27 feet by 17 feet. It was connected to a small coffee bar. On the left-hand side of the hallway was the sergeants' room, which measured 23 feet by 18. From the hallway there was access by means of fire-proof steps down to the drill shed, which measured 60 feet long by 30 feet in width. The drill shed also had a small canteen and was so fitted out that it could be used for entertaining friends of the regiment on special occasions. The outer angles of the shed contained circular towers within which were the armouries. There was direct access to the projected parade ground outside by means of sliding doors. That was to be completed when funds permitted. Beneath the drill shed were the quartermaster's stores. The quartermaster had his own living accommodation in a separate three-bedroom cottage.
On the first floor were the officers' room, 23 feet by 18 feet, with a dressing room; the orderly room, 17 feet by 16; and the commanding officer's room, which measured 17 feet by 11 feet.