In 1907 Mr A E Hussey gave his pack of pure-bred harriers to the artillery officers stationed at Bulford to become the RA (Bulford) Harriers. The pack was hunted until its demise in World War I. The hunt was revived during 1919 – 1920 and Lady Hobart lent the Isle of Wight pack to the Royal Artillery for a season. In 1920 the Instow pack of West Country Harriers was purchased for £300. These were mainly old hounds as harriers were scarce after the war.
Major General E Harrison went on to create a pack based on these hounds together with pure-bred harriers which excelled both in the hunting field and ‘on the flags’ during the ‘twenties and ’thirties. It was originally laid down that each brigade at Bulford and Larkhill should provide at least one whipper-in and opening meets were always celebrated at Bulford Mess.
In September 1939 war was declared. Only foxhounds would be given rations as part of pest control during the wartime effort.
‘’All RA Harriers, except 7 couples, destroyed on outbreak of war.
All Royal Artillery Officers proceed on active service with their units.’’ - hunt record.
The remaining hounds were made up with foxhounds and taken over by the cavalry at Tidworth. During their conversion period to fox the hounds were kennelled at Major Edmund’s farm in Cholderton, hunting the south Tedworth country. In September 1946 the Royal Artillery Hunt (Salisbury Plain) was recognised by the MFA. Lieutenant Colonel ‘’Gilly’’ Gillman laid the foundation of a fast, keen-scenting ‘Plain-type Country’ hound, while Lieutenant Colonel Freddy Edmeades maintained the tradition of building a superb pack of foxhounds.
From 1946 until 2000 the hunt continued along similar lines with a single military master. In 2004 Multiple military masters were introduced, which included the first female master and in 2005 the first civilian master was introduced.
The Royal Artillery Hunt continues to thrive and operate within the law, and is grateful for the support and assistance of the Salisbury Plain Training Area, Wilton Hunt, South and West Wiltshire Hunt and the Tedworth Hunt.
A full History of The Royal Artillery Hunt (up to 1992) was researched and documented in the book “Hounds, Hares and Foxes of Larkhill” written by a keen hunt subscriber and supporter, the late Estelle Holloway. This book was published in 1992, is currently out of print. However, Estelle, as the copyright holder, very kindly and generously granted the hunt permission to reproduce the publication.