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Rivals pull together for charity

27 September 2017
Visitors enjoying the autumn sunshine at Portsmouth recently were stunned to see a Naval Field Gun pulled by a 22-strong team of sailors race past them.

The crew led by Petty Officer (PO) Daniel Tregarthen, took on the challenge of hauling the gun, which weighs as much as a family car, to raise money for Cancer Research UK (CRUK) and the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity (RNRMC).

They pulled the gun from Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard to the Royal Marines Museum at Eastney and back – a total of 10 miles – in an impressive four hours.

Although the majority of the crew were from HMS Collingwood, participants came from as far afield as Plymouth and Gloucestershire as members of the Devonport and Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC) Field Gun Crews joined Portsmouth and Collingwood team members all giving up their time to take part.

The fierce rivalry that had been displayed during June’s Field Gun Competition held at HMS Collingwood was set aside to be replaced by camaraderie, good humour and teamwork, which was much appreciated by the public as they dug deep to donate to the charities and cheer the crew on.

PO Tregarthen chose to support CRUK in memory of his late father-in-law who died twenty years ago this year and this event was the culmination of a year’s fundraising for the charity by him, his family and friends.

The RNRMC supports the annual Field Gun Competition and also provides crucial assistance to serving personnel, veterans and their families.

The origin of the Field Gun competition lies during the Boer War with the 119-day siege of Ladysmith in 1899.

Defenders were aided enormously by the arrival of the Naval Brigade who had hauled guns from their ships on specially designed carriages.

Warrant Officer (WO1) Andrew Welch said after the event, “The friendship, work ethic and effort shows that the spirit of Ladysmith 1899 and the beginnings of the Field Gun are very much alive…and it demonstrates the bond between the City of Portsmouth and its military connections.”

After the event the crew, who’d taken pride in wearing their individual teams’ crew shirts, took a well-earned break enjoying refreshment, a warm welcome and kind words from the Portsmouth public houses!

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