Crew pull field gun along Southsea seafront for charity

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IT’S A feat that had never before been attempted.

But sailors and Military Police made light work of dragging a field gun, weighing almost a ton, from the Historic Dockyard to the Royal Marines Museum for charity.

Members of the armed forces pull a field gun to raise money for charity, pictured at the HMS Victory start point''''Picture: Paul Jacobs (132164-1)

Members of the armed forces pull a field gun to raise money for charity, pictured at the HMS Victory start point''''Picture: Paul Jacobs (132164-1)

The 16 men set off on Saturday morning for the four mile challenge along the seafront to raise cash for the Royal British Legion, Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity, and Julia’s House Children’s Hospice.

Drivers beeped their horns and dropped cash into buckets as they made their way past the Royal Naval war memorial and the D Day Museum, where they laid wreaths.

The charity event was organised by Chief Petty Officer David Garner and Leading Seaman Gary Jackson, both based in Dorset.

CPO Garner said: ‘The field gun has never been pulled this far before.

‘Usually it’s about 80 yards for competitions but we did between four and five miles.

‘Although we are based in Dorset we thought it would be poignant to do it here in Portsmouth, the home of field gun.

‘And to do it in front of HMS Victory and the field gun statue in the Historic Dockyard makes it even more special to us all.’

CPO Garner, known as Beefy, added: ‘It was hard-going but we did it in two hours and 20 minutes which we’re really proud of. Especially considering it was absolutely boiling hot.

‘We were amazed at the reaction we received.

‘People were beeping their horns in support. We even had buses stopping to donate money. The driver pulled over to donate and then the passengers followed.

‘I can tell you the men are in varying degrees of discomfort now depending on fitness and age but they all ache. But everyone really enjoyed it.’

The men will pull the field gun a similar distance along Poole Quay today

Louise Spencer, 52, is on holiday in the city with her family.

She said: ‘We had no idea this was happening, it’s a real surprise.

‘We’re really impressed with them, they must be very strong indeed.’

If you would like to donate, there are three websites, depending on which charity you want your money to go to.

For the Royal British Legion, visit bmycharity.com/fieldgunpull2013.

To support the Royal Marines Charity, visit bmycharity.com/gunpull2013.

For the Julia’s House Children’s Hospice, visit mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/fieldgunpull2013.