Battle commences for field gun competition

Passchendaele. Picture: Imperial War Museum

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GRIT, determination and pure strength were on show at HMS Sultan yesterday.

Two teams went against each other in the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity Field Gun Competition.

B Crew run against the clock in The Burgess Trophy Field Gun Competition

B Crew run against the clock in The Burgess Trophy Field Gun Competition

The event see teams work together to assemble a limber – the front part of a gun carriage – before pulling it forward and attaching it to the gun which weighs 1,200lbs.

Each crew was made up of 18 field gunners who raced to assemble an antique field gun and run with it along a track.

They have to disassemble and reassemble the limber and gun, before dragging it home. The intense competition sees more than a tonne of weight lifted in one go, along with the gun being shot six times.

Crews from HMS Sultan were practising this sequence for the Brickwood Trophy, which sees bases from all forces battle it out.

This in-house competition saw A Crew crowned the winners of the Burgess Trophy.

Andrew Dennis, PO personal trainer instructor, led A Crew to victory.

He said: ‘It’s good for HMS Sultan to do the competition and we did it in a good time.

‘We are where we want to be time-wise because we have a few days left to train.

‘The best time last year was one minute, 19 seconds so there is room for improvement but we are doing well so far.’

Lt Mat Windross, field gun officer, said: ‘Both crews are making good progress and are demonstrating impressive levels of enthusiasm and dedication to the cause.’

The Brickwood Competition takes place on June 1 at HMS Collingwood, Fareham.

HM Naval Base Portsmouth will be trying to retain its title and beat its winning time on one minute, 19 seconds.

Tickets can be bought on the door and start at £5 for children and OAPs or £8 for an adult. Family tickets can be bought at £21. For more information visit royalnavy.mod.uk and search for HMS Collingwood Open Day.