The Devonport Field Gun crew mustered on Wednesday 22nd May at HMS Drake for a bit drill run. A bit drill run is the complete Field Gun run broken down into its component parts for demonstration purposes; followed by a full gun run at speed. The public run was a culmination of six weeks arduous training as a crew. Chief Petty Officer Steve Hall explained that the team had been training twice a day, four days a week all in addition to their normal daily duties. He said: “It’s the ultimate team sport, a physically and mentally demanding event which involves lifting and pulling almost ton of equipment”.
There have been many injuries during training, including bruises, pulled hamstrings and a broken foot; one member of the crew was hospitalised after tearing a bicep.
Children from Morice Town Primary Junior Field Gun crew and Drake Primary Schools were invited to watch the spectacle and cheered the team as they were put through their paces. Following the demonstration the children were given the opportunity to talk to the crew members and get a hands-on feel of the equipment involved. Jeremy Roberts a representative from Drake Primary School said: “The children loved it; it’s a really good event. Children from the school have attended in previous years and as always it is wonderful to be invited in and to continue our close links with the Naval Base”.
The crew will go on to compete at HMS Collingwood where the Brickwoods Competition will take place from 31st May – 1st June. Crews will each complete seven preliminary rounds, fighting it out for a place in the final. Twenty- two crews will take part in the tournament including teams from the Royal Navy, Army, Air Force, Reservists and also teams from Naples and Gibraltar.