The Second World War had demonstrated the power of and threat from aerial attack. Britain still needed effective defence from air attack, but technology had moved on. Guns were clearly not going to be effective in the long term, missiles would be the new means to defend ourselves from aeroplanes.

On returning from Italy The Bristol Gunners rejoined the Territorial Army and were again tasked with the defence of the UK homeland in the anti aircraft role in 1947. They kept their trusty 3.7 Inch Heavy Anti Aircraft guns, though now with improved capabilities and control equipment including radar. They changed their title to 266 (Mobile) HAA Regiment RA (TA). They trained hard and kept their skills up to date. In 1957 The Bristol Gunners changed their title again, to 311 (Bristol) HAA Regiment RA (TA).

Meanwhile missile systems were being developed which in time would render the 3.7 inch gun obsolete. In 1960 their role in anti aircraft defence ceased when the army replaced the 3.7 with the Thunderbird missile system. The Bristol Gunners became 883 (GVA) Locating Battery RA (TA). The First World War and the Second World War had taught the army that finding and pinpointing targets was just as important as firing shells at them. A range of techniques had been developed, including sound ranging, flash spotting, and radar tracking, as well as improved methods of survey which was needed to accurately place our gun positions in relation to potential targets. Two Survey Regiments RA had been formed in Bristol during the Second World War and these served with great effect in Italy. In 1961 the successors to these two regiments amalgamated with 266 (Mobile) HAA Regiment RA (TA) to form 883 (GVA) Locating  Battery RA (TA). The smaller size of the unit - battery as against regiment - reflected the shrinking of the UK's military forces as a result of the cessation of National Service.

The Bristol Gunners were equipped with the hardware and organisation needed to find and locate targets, including sound ranging, flash spotting, and mobile radar equipments. In 1967 the Territorial Army was replaced by the Territorial & Army Volunteer Reserve (T&AVR). The Bristol Gunners again changed title and role, becoming A (GVA) Squadron of the Royal Gloucestershire Hussars (RGH).

In 1969 another reorganisation occurred in our reserve forces. TAVR III, in which the Bristol Gunners were placed, was disbanded, and the Bristol Gunners were reduced to a cadre, the GVA name being kept alive by a dedicated band of old comrades who continued to meet regularly and talk over times past. They kept the name and honour of the Bristol Gunners alive during a dark period in military history.

883 Locating Bty Report.pdf 883 Locating Bty Report.pdf
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