Bristol Gunners on the Western Front date unknown

The GVA was formed in 1859 as the British Government responded to perceived threats of invasion from France. The Lord Lieutenants of every county in the UK were tasked with raising corps of Volunteer Rifles & Volunteer Artillery. In Bristol, the Lord Lieutenant, who was also the Lord Lieutenant of Gloucestershire, raised the Gloucestershire Volunteer Artillery Corps. It was granted premises on Whiteladies Road, Clifton, Bristol, by the Society of Merchant Venturers, and the GVA have been based there ever since 1860.

The Motto of the GVA is 'Fidus et Audax', which is Latin, meaning 'Loyal and Audacious.' The origins of this motto are not known, but were chosen by the original officers of the GVA as values to be aspired to by everyone who serves in the GVA. History has shown that The Bristol Gunners have never failed to live up to these ideals.

At the outset, in 1859, the GVA were tasked with the defence of the Bristol Channel and the ports of Bristol and Gloucester. In these early times the GVA was fully paid for and organised by the City of Bristol, it was not part of the War Office responsibilities. Later on, as a result of the Haldane Reforms of 1908 the GVA became part of the Territorial Force, an army tasked with the defence of the UK, and came under the control of the War Office. The Territorial Force was a separate army with its own organisation and command structures, to allow the Regular Army to defend Britain's overseas interests or form an expeditionary force safe in the knowledge that the homeland was well defended. Bristol Gunners have served in most of the conflicts experienced by Britain over the last 100 and more years. Some went to South Africa during the Boer Wars, three brigades of field artillery marched out from Bristol during the First World War and served in many battles. In the Second World War the Bristol gunners fought as heavy anti-aircraft artillery, defending Bristol and the south coast ports. They later fought in North Africa, Sicily and Italy in both AA and Field roles. After 1945 they have served in Heavy Anti-aircraft Artillery, Survey, Locating, Specialist OP, Parachute, & Commando roles, and are currently tasked with the role of operating MUAS (MiniatureUnmanned Aerial Systems). In this section of the site there are links above to pages giving more detail to each of the phases of our history.