HMS Neptune Field Gun Crew recently put on an impressive display for Naval Base staff and visitors when they completed the first Field Gun public run in over three years.
The 18-strong team of Royal Navy sailors from HM Naval Base Clyde held the public run just outside the south gate of the Base, with families, friends and colleagues invited to watch. It was the first Field Gun public run to be held since Covid lockdown and a chance for the team to wow the crowd ahead of the Brickwood’s Field Gun competition at HMS Collingwood from June 26 to July 1.
Commander Gareth Batsford, HMNB Clyde Field Gun Officer, said: “With just a few days to go until the competition begins at HMS Collingwood, our training continues at pace. Today has been our first opportunity to conduct a full run in front of our supporters and the continued support from everyone, especially family, friends, colleagues, and our sponsors, is greatly appreciated.
“The Field Gun competition is an important occasion for the Royal Navy,” continued Commander Batsford. “It exemplifies the Service’s virtues of discipline, teamwork, respect, dedication, and determination.
“The team is made up entirely of volunteers who give their spare time to undergo some really intense training.
“We look forward to a week of acclimatisation at HMS Collingwood before we get into the competition where we will finally put all our hard work to the test. Let’s hope it has been worth it and we can bring back some silverware to HMNB Clyde.”
The Field Gun competition simulates the Naval Brigade’s heroic mission to relieve the besieged British Army during the Second Boer War.
During that conflict, sailors offloaded guns from HMS Terrible and HMS Powerful, manhandling them over many miles to come to the Army’s aid.
Royal Navy teams have been recreating the event ever since, beginning at the Royal Tournament in 1907, and continuing to the present day where they compete at HMS Collingwood in Fareham.
Naval establishments and units from all around the country compete at the competition, entering teams of 18 – with support staff and back-ups – to race with the 1,300-kilo gun and limber in the fastest time.