A and B Batteries are the descendants of the first permanent artillery units formed in Canada in 1871. C Battery was authorized on 10 August 1883 and incorporated into the Regiment of Canadian Artillery along with A and B Batteries, but was not organized. It was authorized to organize on 6 October 1887. The battery was redesignated ‘”C” Battery, The Royal Canadian Artillery’ on 11 August 1893 but was disbanded on 24 August 1893 (note – a separate “C” Battery was raised to fight in the South African War 1899 – 1902, but was disbanded upon its return to Canada). The battery was again authorized as ‘”C” Battery, Royal Canadian Horse Artillery Brigade’ on 15 January 1915. Since their inception, A, B and C Batteries have served in almost every theatre of operations involving Canadian troops at home and overseas.
In 1885, A and B Batteries took part in operations to defeat the North West Rebellion. All three Batteries formed the RCHA Brigade which supported the Calvary Brigade in Europe during the First World War. Between the First and Second World Wars, A, B and C Batteries were employed in training the Canadian Militia Artillery. 1 RCHA moved to England as part of 1 Canadian Division at the outbreak of the Second World War.
During the war, the regiment served in Sicily, Italy and Northwest Europe. The peace following the Second World War was broken by the Korean conflict. Once again the regiment went into action in support of the Canadian Brigade.
Z Battery, the fourth battery, was formed as a light parachute battery in 1949. The battery served with 1 RCHA during the periods 1949-1952 and 1954-1956. In 1978, Z Battery was reactivated as a small cadre and was brought to full strength in August 1985. On July 5, 1991 Z Battery was again reduced to nil strength.
In November 1957, 1 RCHA returned to Europe for duty as part of 4 CIBG and took up residence at Fort Prince of Wales near Hemer, Westphalia. In 1960, the unit was repatriated to Camp Gagetown New Brunswick where it remained until 1966. In 1967, 1 RCHA once again deployed to Northern Germany as a three battery Regiment in 4 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group. In 1970, 1 RCHA together with 4 CMBG moved from the British Army on the Rhine (BAOR) in Northern Germany to operational control of CENTAG in Southwest Germany. The regiment occupied the former French airfield at Lahr where it resided for the next 25 years. In December 1989, 1 RCHA joined 1 Canadian Division.
1 RCHA was repatriated to the Home Station at Shilo, Manitoba due to Canada’s decision to withdraw the Canadian Armed Forces from Europe. On 30 July 1992, 3 RCHA was reduced to nil strength and was replaced by 1 RCHA at the Home Station. In August 1992, 1 RCHA deployed to Cyprus for the unit’s first peacekeeping mission. Upon the regiment’s return from Cyprus in February 1993, 1 RCHA assumed the mission of providing indirect fire support to 1 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group and concurrently, the AMF(L) Artillery Commitment.