Field gunner teams prepare for battle in annual contest

HMS Collingwood's A & B crews compete for the 12 pounder trophy.
HMS Collingwood's A & B crews compete for the 12 pounder trophy.
Picture: Malcolm Wells

Five reasons to buy Wednesday’s News - including 12-page Homes pullout

Have your say

IT’S a competition that attracts hundreds of people and is full of strength and determination.

And yesterday, two teams at HMS Collingwood in Fareham took part in a warm-up to the annual Field Gun competition which takes place on Saturday.

The training base will open its doors to the public, as it does every year.

And yesterday, in a prelude to the main competition the A and B crews challenged each other for the 12 Pounder Cup.

In front of an audience of personnel from the base who cheered on their crews, and of course some of their opponents, already on site for Saturday’s event, the fast and furious competition took place and resulted in a win by A crew.

Lieutenant Mike Bray, HMS Collingwood Field Gun Officer and member of A crew said: ‘This breeds team spirit and naval ethos.

‘It’s a fantastic event that encourages youngsters to compete as equals.

‘We’re delighted to have won today and we’re prepared and ready for the competition on Saturday.’

The race requires 18-man teams to run, dismantle, reassemble and then fire the gun in the shortest possible time, traditionally in heats of six crews.

Lieutenant Commander Kay Burbidge, who is the officer in charge of the open day added: ‘It’s a massive spectacle.

‘It’s interesting to see and you are close to the action.’

The open day will raise money for The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity (RNRMC).

During the open day there will be attractions, entertainment and displays designed to capture the imagination of all ages.

Attractions will include displays from the Royal Navy Raiders Parachute Display team, the Tigers Motorcycle Display Team and more.

Lt Cdr Burbidge added: ‘It’s massively important. It’s for the public to see what we do and we can interact.

‘They drive past us every day and probably wonder what’s going on behind the wires. This allows us to speak to people.’

For more information please visit