The Field Gun Competition draws its origins from the siege of
Ladysmith during the Boer War in South Africa. In October 1899,
a request was sent to Cape Town for Naval guns and crews to be
transported to Ladysmith. As was normal for the
Victorian Navy, a Naval Brigade was formed from the crews of
Royal Navy ships in the harbour to assist the land forces. Over
280 men fought over rough terrain with a variety of naval
artillery including the 12 pounder gun used in the competition
today and were able to lift the siege and relieve the town. The
public back at home in Britain were much taken with this
achievement and so the Field Gun Competition was born.
Birmingham Tattoo, gun crews from the Royal Navy, the Army and
the Royal Air Force will perform many of the actions
that have become part of this competitive activity, including
the need to unlimber the items, carry the gun, wheels and limber
- approximately one ton in total, the weight of a family car -
and fire the gun at the end of the run.
on the teams as they race for the honour of being the fastest
team at the Birmingham International Tattoo.