Keeping field gun alive for schools
History of JUNIOR field gunning
For almost 100 years the Royal Navy’s Command Field Gun Competition, held in London’s Earls Court Exhibition Centre, was the highlight of the Royal Tournament.
Regrettably, owing to cuts and manpower shortages, the tournament ended in 1999. Happily, its traditions live on in the junior version.
Junior Field Gun, as organised by FF, has seen many improvements in its equipment design, over the years, with its Competition Drill emulating that of Command field gun – Points Cup, Fastest Time Cup and Least Penalties Salver. In addition the Course has a Home and Enemy Walls, plus a Run Out, Run Back and Run Home. However, a little known fact is that John Donahue, Head Teacher, Morice Town School Devonport, had the initial idea to create a field gun team event for primary school children after the demise of the senior event in 1999. By a stroke of luck he was introduced to Darby Allen – an ex-RN Chippy- who agreed to make the first junior guns and limbers (2000). When Devonport Association decided to take their own version of Junior Field Gun to all Primary Schools (2012) , FF’s Operations Manager, Dave Worrall, was on the Board and agreed to approach Darby, with a view to him teaching volunteers to make guns and limbers.
From that moment, with support from FF’s Trustees, Dave has masterminded the development and introduction of JFG into, approximately 50 schools, a job he continues to do. The following is a picture of the first junior field gun and limber Dave and his helpers completed on the premises of Plymouth Community Homes – a recent casualty of the Covid pandemic.
Future Fit, as an organisation, has taken junior field gun to a mass audience. Not only are more Plymouth schools showing interest, but also schools in the Portsmouth area. While continuing to hold Inter-school Competitions on the The Hoe, FF will help to organise the same competition for Portsmouth schools, with two or more Plymouth schools taking part. Dave Worrall, together with Major Alex Howard (a FF trustee and a resident of Southsea) are coordinating the Portsmouth school development.
Meet the team
We are a registered charity. Charity Registration No. 1177870.
For full charity information please download our constitution document.
Inter School Points Cup
The Aggregate time cup
Fastest time Cup
Awarded to the School Crew with the highest number of points. Two points a win, one point a loss and one and a half points a draw. The Trophy was donated by the late Norman Fookes. Silver Trophy dated 1932. If Schools have equal points the trophy goes to the School achieving the fastest time on their last run.
Least Penalties Salver
Awarded to the School Crew with the lowest aggregate official time throughout the total amount of runs. Silver Trophy hallmarked London 1909. Donated by Fix Auto.
2016 Pennycross Primary/Morris Town
2017 Pennycross Primary
2018 Carbiele Primary
2019 Pennycross Primary
2016 Pennycross Primary
2017 Pennycross Primary
2018 Carbiele Primary [7 min 20.45 sec]
2019 Pennycross Primary [7 min 06.25 sec]
2021 Yealmstone Farm [8 min 41.85 sec]
2016 Pennycross Primary
2017 Pennycross Primary [2 min 26.58 sec]
2018 Carbiele Primary [2 min 24.19 sec]
2019 Pennycross Primary [2 min 18.18 sec]
2021 Yealmstone Farm [2 min 50.60 sec]
2016 Compton Primary
2017 Pennycross Primary [14 penalties]
2018 Widewell Primary [2 penalties]
2019 Ernesettle/St Pauls [0 penalties]
The Gun barrel is turned by hand out of timber. After it has been turned on a very large lathe, it is taken back to the workshop and fixed to the rest of the Gun carriage, painted and prepared with several coats of paint. It is the heaviest bit of the kit needs some strong team members to run with it.
There are two wheels on the limber and two wheels on the gun. They are made from MDF and cut out using a CNC. They are taken back to the workshop after they have been cut out to have themeatil ‘tyres’ and hub caps fitted before giving them a coat of paint. They are swapped over multiple times during the run. You will need great coordination and teamwork for speedy changes!
Each drag rope is made of 4.7 meters of rope and 1.6 meters of chain attached to the limber. Each drag rope has chain at one end (the end that attaches to the axles). It also has pull loops attached along the length of the rope for runners to hold on to as they work together to pull the gun and limber through the course.
The limber is made from Medium Density Fibre Board (MDF) and cut out using a CNC machine.
The parts are then taken back to the workshop, glued and screwed together and then painted with several coats of paint.
The box contains the ‘shells’ that are taken out at the firing line after you have gone through the enemy wall.
The ammunition or 'shells' are carried through the course in the limber. Once through the enemy wall they taken out at the firing line.
Future Fit Ambassadors
Roles of the Ambassador
The roles of the ambassador is currently as seen below:
- To promote Junior Field Gun activities
- To support Junior Field Gun competitions
- To support new teams in establishing their clubs
- To raise funds for Future Fit and other nominated charities
- To maintain communication between themselves and the Military Kids Club ambassadors.
- To communicate ideas to the Future Fit Trustees