In 1772, the British Army formed a unit of 68 military engineers to enhance Gibraltar’s fortifications. They were called the Company of Soldier Artificers. Among their biggest accomplishments was the construction of the King’s Bastion. During the Great Siege of Gibraltar (1779 – 1783), they tunneled through the Rock of Gibraltar so cannons could better destroy the advancing Spanish troops. In 1787, they were granted the Royal designation and became the Corps of Royal Engineers. This bronze statue of an 18th century artificer honors all of their contributions to the defense of Gibraltar. The Royal Engineers’ Monument was erected on Main Street in 1994.