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On this Page:
When and Why
What They Really Mean Motto's Around the World
RNZA has two mottos. Both are latin: Ubique (Everywhere)
Quo fas et Gloria ducunt (Where right and glory lead)

When and WhyTop

RNZA adopts as its own much of RA heritage, incorporating events that occurred long before NZ had been colonised by European settlers. The mottos are examples.

HM King William IV granted the RA the motto "Ubique Quo Fas et Gloria Ducunt" on 9 July 1832. London Gazette, Issue 18952 published on the 10 July 1832, pg 3[1583] London Gazette 1832.jpg Perhaps the missing comma caused confusion, and in 1833 he promulgated a second order confirming two distinct mottos.

Why they were granted is connected with the award of the Honour Title, Battle Honour and Colours. See those sections for more detailed information.

The Role of a MottoTop

A motto is a maxim that influences conduct or expresses an ideal or goal. Mottos provide a statement of guiding principles, and for military units they have great unifying power: Soldiers might heatedly debate right from wrong, but subscription to the ethos and adherence to the principles articulated by the Unit motto will be universal and unquestioned.

Gunners are unique in employing the mottos in everyday activities. "Ubique" is a common greeting, and although Quo fas et Gloria ducunt is a mouthful for those not trained in Latin, it gets worked in when possible. Critics see the habit as a desire or need to reinforce difference. They overlook its function as a daily reminder of the ideals and goals of the Regiment.

What They Really MeanTop

... Or why the detractors are wrong:

Some claim Ubique really means all over the place - a reference to poor fall of shot, and a motto making glory desirable exhorts Gunners to prefer self-aggrandisement over more important things - like hard work. They are not right, of course.

"Latin" is not a single language and the Latin influencing many current military terms entered from two primary sources: French - "Low Latin"; English, influenced by "High Latin". Wrong Latin, wrong result.

Words usually have a primary meaning and several secondary meanings. They can change places and be lost over time. Mottos translate an English idea into Latin, and these days we translate the Latin back to English. To do so accurately means identifying which possible English meaning our ancestors meant to translate to which possible Latin meaning ... then translate the Latin back to English using the correct dialect.

Sheeesh... small wonder detractors get it wrong.

Ubique
Ubique can mean wherever, wheresoever, in any place whatever, anywhere, or everywhere. The Battle Honour and Honour Title make it indisputable that the it was selected for the meaning everywhere. End of argument.

Persistent detractors claim in any place and in all places are synonyms for "everywhere" in English and for ubique in Latin as well. A vulgar twist moves them to "all over the place". Language is constantly vulgarised by - the proper term - vulgars. Ah well ...

Synonyms are problematic: The inflexible logic of detractors would make RNZA, a scion of the RA, a piece of tree. Hard to swallow.

Quo fas et Gloria ducunt
This is much easier:

QuoWhere, Whither
fasright
etand
Gloriaglory
ducuntlead

In New Zealand Where is preferred over the older and more formal Whither, although the latter is not wrong.

Glory means honour - and has a different origin than glorify, which suggests self-aggrandisement.

Where are whither are adverbs: The motto is an imperative to take the path that is right and honourable.

Around the WorldTop

Motto's used by other Regiments.
RegimentMottoMeaningComment
Royal Artillery
  • Ubique
  • Quo fas et Gloria ducunt
As for NZ  
Royal Horse ArtilleryHoni soit qui mal y penseEvil be to him who evil thinksMotto of the Order of the Garter - not considered an Artillery motto.
Honourable Artillery CompanyArma Pacis FulcraArmed Strength for Peace
Royal Canadian Artillery
  • Ubique
  • Quo fas et Gloria ducunt
  • As for NZ
  • Whither right and glory lead
 
Regiment of Indian ArtilleryIzzat-O-IqbalEverywhere: With Honour and GloryThis is Persian. In 1954 the government ordered that all mottos be changed to Hindi or sanskrit, but the Regiment considered it the most suitable in content and meaning and successfully lodged an application to be exempted.
Royal Australian Artillery
  • Ubique
  • Quo fas et Gloria ducunt
As for NZGranted in January 1950 by HM King George VI. Previously Ubique, Consensu Stabiles (Firm and Steadfast)


Ubique is also the motto (but not the Battle Honour) for RE and RNZE.

Land Forces of Britain, the Empire and Commonwealth [Archived Site] has a fuller list.