FIELD GUNNERS SHOW THEIR SKILL
TODAY HMS HERON Field Gun Team got the opportunity to show off all their hard work and skill with a Public Run for personnel on Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS) Yeovilton prior to the big completion at HMS COLLINGWOOD Saturday 2 June 2018.
RNAS Yeovilton has been known as the "Home of the Fleet Air Arm" since the early 1970s however, it has always been synonymous with producing high quality Field Gunners and successful field gun crews.
HMS Heron are 5-time winners of the Brickwoods Field Gun Trophy since 2000 and hold the fastest time recorded in 2011. The current members of HMS HERON Field Gun Crew are drawn together from all areas of the establishment but they all have one thing in common. Despite a diverse mix of experience, rank and age, every member has approached this year’s Field Gun competition with an overwhelming desire to succeed. The Crews have endured a demanding training package that has tested them both physically and mentally; efforts that will no doubt translate into success on the track.
Being part of a Field Gun Crew, the toughest team sport in the world, takes tremendous courage, self-belief, self-discipline and the highest standard of physical fitness, both physical and mental. These are, of course, exactly the same attributes that a fighting force such as the Royal Navy expects from its servicemen and women, not only in day-to-day life but particularly when such people are deployed on operations.
The origins of the Field Gun competition stem from the gallant action fought during the Boer War when guns from HMS TERRIBLE and HMS POWERFUL were despatched from Durban to assist in the relief of the 119-day siege of Ladysmith. 280 Blue Jackets of the Naval Brigade manhandled the guns across rugged terrain under arduous conditions to the frontline in time to halt the Boer advance. The siege was finally lifted on the 28th February 1900.
The first re-enactment of those magnificent endeavours took place at the Royal Tournament in 1903 and continued until The Last Run in 1999. The Inter-Command Field Gun Competition, held at the Royal Tournament, was contested over several obstacles including walls and a chasm and the current RNRM Charity Field Gun Competition (formally Brickwoods) is held annually at HMS COLLINGWOOD and contested over a flat course.
Good Luck HMS HERON!