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Heron Field Gun crew
HMS Heron Field Gun Crew with Commodore Paul Chivers OBE, CO RNAS Yeovilton
Heron Field Gun, the run home

HMS Heron Field Gun gain Brickwoods Runners up Cup

Published: 28 May 2012

The bitterest pill to swallow is always the disappointment of losing when so close to victory. This is how the HMS Heron Gun crew felt after losing out to Portsmouth Naval Base in the annual Brickwoods Trophy Field Gun competition at HMS Collingwood in Hampshire.

The Men from Heron dominated their heat with a near perfect set of figures, qualifying as expected for the Grand final. Each crew completing seven competitive runs with six good ones to count. With an overall time of 08:07.45, HMS Heron took the Powersport Cup for best aggregate time. They also secured the Penalties Cup with zero penalties over the event and their third trophy of the day for Yeovilton airman was the Fleet Air Arm Trophy, presented for the best FAA time over the competition, beating HMS Seahawk, from RNAS Culdrose.

In front of over 1500 families, friends and personnel from the Naval community 22 crews from across the UK, Gibraltar and Naples, competed for the coveted Brickwoods Trophy. Including Army and RAF crews from 16 Air Assault Brigade at Colchester and the RAF Engineer Collage at Cosford.

The competition is fast and furious, with displays of strength, stamina, and team work. The origin of which is linked to episodes in the Boer War, in particular the epic 119 day siege of Ladysmith, where the gallant defenders were helped enormously by the arrival at the last minute of Captain the Hon Hedworth Lambton of the Naval Brigade with his 280 Blue-jackets, four 12 Pounders and two 4.7 inch guns.

With the sun blazed down on the Field Gunners to raise the tension and heat of their challenge. It was a fast and furious , neck and neck final and anyone’s game until the last push when Portsmouth ran home as winners with no penalties. HMS Heron slipped to second place with a time of 1:20.22 losing out by only three tenth of a second. Leaving HMS Heron Field Gun Team with the Brickwoods Cup for runners up in the 2012 Competition.

“We’d had a good week down here at Collingwood, not too many injuries and our timings were excellent. It was a close run thing on the day; the judges took a long time to come back with a result.” Said Lieutenant Mike Harris HMS Heron’s Field Gun Officer.
Guest of Honour for the event, Second Sea Lord Vice Admiral Charles Montgomery CBE address the crews on completion of the competition “Well done to every single man and woman, you provided a fantastic spectacle, thank you.”


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