The Field Gun
What do you get if you have a couple of old lampposts, a fair assortment of scrap iron, some wood, and a passion for Field Gunning? The answer is,you are in the Navy Training Corps with a couple of near replica 12 pounder Royal Navy Field Guns. Click here to see how it was done.
The origin of Royal Navy Field Gunning dates back to the Boer War, when ship’s guns were put onto carriages and pulled overland by Royal Navy sailors to relieve the town of Ladysmith which was besieged by the Boers. Out of this grew the Field Gun Competition which ran annually at the Royal Tournament in London until 1999 when the event became the victim of Government Cuts. It continued to be performed by the Portsmouth Action Field Gun, and Wellington College CCF. As already mentioned, the Field Gun Competition in the Tournament was scrapped in 1999, but it is now being revived by ABF, The Soldiers’ Charity, to raise money for injured soldiers and their families and as a consequence Wellington College fielded two competing teams in the Field Gun Run at the British Royal Tournament in 2010, see below.
So, what do you do when you have two replica 12 pounder Field Guns? The aim is to have two gun crews running against each other, in a straight forward competition with no obstacles. Once this has been mastered, then walls will be added.
The ultimate aim is to do the full competition with walls and chasm. Only very Senior Cadets will be eligible to run, with the team being made up mainly by young Instructors, as Field Gunning is considered to be the toughest team sport in the world. Many things have to be put in place before this happens, but when the aim is complete, one more Royal Navy Tradition will be kept alive.
View some of our photos of making one of our guns here.
Field gun crews first public performance
The field crew consisting of cadets from TS Ark Royal, TS Wednesbury, TS Legion and TS Revenge had its first outing in public at TS Ocean’s Spring gala, 19th May 12.
Four of the Field Gun Team taking part were from TS Ocean; Cadets Oceanne Gallagher, Megan Bonner-Cartright, Charles Lawrence and Scott Mitchell stepped in with only 1 hour training under their belts. Click here to view photos of the day.
Training for our first competition
Since being invited to enter, the Crew which is made up of Cadets from Worcester, Wednesbury and Wolverley Units have been training hard.
Training has been held at TS Legion at Wednesbury and included a visit from Peter Scott from the Portsmouth Action Field Gun Club who went through the drills with the Cadets and Staff.
Click photo to view others of the day.
The dedication and motivation of the Cadets and Staff has been excellent throughout the training and full credit must go to everyone.
Friday 24th August saw the Navy Training Corps Field Gun Crew leave for Portsmouth to compete in the Portsmouth Field Gun Reunion Cadet Field Gun Competition held at Portsmouth College.
The Staff and Cadets were to stay at the Nautical Training Corps Sailing Centre at Tipner on Friday night.
Saturday brought an overcast morning and as the Cadets arrived at Portsmouth College they were greeted with a thunderstorm. Luckily during the day the weather improved and the Cadet Crews ran against each other in brilliant sunshine.
The opposition was a team from TS Active of the Maritime Training Corps who are based at Waterlooville near Portsmouth.
Despite losing the runs the Navy Training Corps Team won the overall Competition due to the least penalty points gained.
Both crews also competed against the adult Portsmouth Action Field Gun Crews and a brilliant day culminated in the Cadet Challenge Trophy being presented to L.S. Christopher Smith the Captain of the Gun, by Mr Paul Tasker of Lockheed Martin, one of Portsmouth’s sponsors.
Click to view photos of the day or click play below to view our YouTube video of the competition.
..Navy Training Corps win Cadet Challenge Field Gun competition 25/08/12…
Photo Gallery and Misc links:
- Opening of new Devonport Field Gun Museum – 24th Sep 2011
- Youtube clip of the British Military Tournament Gun Race 2010
- Portsmouth Action Field Gun Club
- British Military Tournament 2012 – Wellington College CCF – Field Gun competition
Field Gun Crew invited to visit South Africa in 2014
Cadets in the Navy Training Corps Field Gun Crew are looking forward to 2014 after being invited to visit South Africa, the Continent where Naval Field Gunning has its origins.
The invitation has come from the Portsmouth Action Field Gun Club whose members visit the African Continent every year. The Cadets will have the opportunity to take part in team building exercises, as well as visiting a local school, and visits to the battlefields of Isandlwana and Rorkes Drift.
There will also be the chance to do some pony trekking as well as visiting a sanctuary for white lions. The members of the crew will be busy raising the money needed for this trip over the next 24 months, with help from their Units, parents and grants.
The party will be led by Peter Scott from Portsmouth Action Field Gun Club whose help, support and advice has inspired the Cadets and Staff to take up this most challenging and exciting sports.
Congratulations to the Field Gun Team achieving a Tryangle award – March 2013
The award is presented by Worcestershire Council for Voluntary Youth Services and acknowledges the “tremendous things that young people are doing in Worcestershire”.
Devonport Field Gun Museum meets the MP’s of Plymouth 30/03/13
Devonport Field Gun Association have met with MP’s to further their plans for going forward with Junior Field Gunning with the Cubs/Scouts and Cadets. There is considerable interest out in the open world as they have discovered since having to leave the sanctity of HM Dockyard. See below newspaper item, click to enlarge.
They are now planning to go forward in the Local Community in Junior Schools, Universities and Cadets. Some more “Mini” Field Guns have been made and they are now about to begin to plan events.
The Navy Training Corps who are affiliated to the Devonport Field Gun Association already have several bookings this year for displays and competitions. We wish the Devonport Field Gun Association, the best of luck with their plans and look forward to increased competition between juniors crews. Oggie Oggie Oggie.