Skip to content
Recruiting now.Explore navy careers

HMS Neptune team are gunning for Victory

18 May 2016
Helensburgh will witness one of the most spectacular of naval traditions next week when the Naval Field Gun public run comes to town.

The Royal Navy Field Gun team from HMS Neptune will demonstrate the demanding military discipline at Pier Car Park, next to Helensburgh Swimming Pool, on Wednesday, 25 May.

The event, which will begin at 12.30pm with further demonstrations at 1.30pm and 2.30pm, will see this year’s team of sailors from HM Naval Base Clyde race to assemble, disassemble and fire an antique naval gun in as quick a time possible.

The bone-crunching, physically demanding run is a naval tradition which dates back to 1899 and the second Boer War.  

Each year since 1907 an annual Field Gun Competition has been held, testing the fitness, teamwork and courage of the teams entering.

During the 119-day siege of Ladysmith in Natal, the Naval Brigade manhandled six field guns weighing nearly half a ton each over many miles of impossibly rough terrain. 

The guns were brought to the aid of the British Army and helped lift the siege by Boer troops.

It was a feat which earned the thanks of Queen Victoria and led to displays of the naval field gun being held in London later than year. 

Each year since 1907 an annual Field Gun Competition has been held, testing the fitness, teamwork and courage of the teams entering. 

Today’s competition is at HMS Collingwood in Fareham, Hampshire, and teams from all around the country train throughout the year to enter the prestigious event.

This year’s HMS Neptune Field Gun team is made up of sailors from ships and departments based at HMNB Clyde. 

The team has been in intense training for many weeks and are at the height of physical fitness for the event. 

Each field gun crew consists of 18 gunners with the record for the fastest ever time held by HMS Collingwood who in 2001 completed the course in an impressive 1 minute, 18.88 seconds. 

Members of the public are being invited to attend the HMS Neptune Field Gun public run and to come along to cheer along their local team.  

Related articles

Navy News Magazine

We bring you the latest news, features and award-winning photographs from the front-line. Navy News has been reporting on all that happens in the Royal Navy and its wider community since 1954.