Fife gunner Martin gives Queen a history lesson

Martin (left) stood beside replicas of the Koehler Gun used in the Seige of Gibraltar 1779-1783, gives his presentation to Her Majesty. � MOD Crown Copyright. Cpl Daniel Wiepen RLC (Phot)
Martin (left) stood beside replicas of the Koehler Gun used in the Seige of Gibraltar 1779-1783, gives his presentation to Her Majesty. � MOD Crown Copyright. Cpl Daniel Wiepen RLC (Phot)

The Queen’s celebration of the 300th anniversary of the Royal Artillery - the firepower of the British Army - has been given a Glenrothes twist.

For Martin Johnman, bombardier with the highly decorated regiment, who grew up in Tanshall, and whose family still live in Glenrothes, was the soldier chosen by his commanding officers to give a presentation to Her Royal Highness on the history of the regiment as part of a day of commemorations,

The Queen met the 24-year-old,300 years to the day - May 26, 1716 - when the first two permanent companies of Royal Artillery were formed by Royal Warrant in the reign of George I, while on a visit to the Royal Regiment of Artillery at its headquarters in Larkhill close to Salisbury Plain.

“It was a great honour for me to be included in this way and to present to the Queen,” Martin told the Gazette.

“I was reliably informed that Her Majesty has a vast knowledge of the Royal Artillery so I worked extra hard to get a few details that she may not have known included, from her raised eyebrows it seems I managed to pass on some new information.”

And Martin said he was more nervous in rehearsals than on the day itself.

“Meeting the Queen was fine, it was my commanding officer’s wife who stood in for the position of the Queen in rehearsal that made me more nervous,” he laughed.

After meeting Martin, the Queen attended a ride past led by the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery, which fires ceremonial gun salutes on major royal and state occasions, before witnessing a ‘feu de joie - a celebratory cascade of rifle fire, conducted in her honour.

Martin’s father Larry, who travelled down from Glenrothes to witness the occasion said he was “immensely proud” of his son’s achievements.