Royal Navy trains CCF cadet staff on new field guns

latest news 27 May 2024

Royal Navy trains CCF cadet staff on new field guns

Rugby School welcomed two trainers from the Royal Navy, marking a significant development in the training of the Combined Cadet Force (CCF) staff. The Royal Navy generously provided training on the use of two new Field Guns, a valuable resource acquired through the Ministry of Defence’s support. In addition to this, the MOD funded the construction of a new Field Gun shed on the School premises.

The training day for more than 15 cadet staff from various schools and contingents, facilitated a one-day qualification. As an emerging centre of excellence for CCF staff training, Rugby School actively fosters the sharing of good practices within the cadet community. The sport promotes team building and mental reasoning skills, with teams of 16 cadets engaging in competitions involving the disassembly and reassembly of the entire field gun.

Looking ahead, plans include the creation of an advanced course incorporating obstacles and walls to further challenge cadets. These events not only contribute to the development of the cadets, but also establish Rugby School as a hub for emerging excellence in CCF staff training.

Field Gun Running, a cadet sport with roots dating back to 1907, is inspired by the historic siege of Ladysmith during the Second Boer War (1899-1902). The legend recounts the Royal Navy’s landing of guns from HMS Terrible and Powerful to aid the besieged British garrison at Ladysmith. The Naval Brigade’s remarkable efforts included transporting guns over challenging terrains, showcasing their determination and resilience.

The tradition of Field Gun continued, becoming a highlight of the annual Royal Tournament at Earl’s Court in London, where sailors from Portsmouth, Devonport, and the Fleet Air Arm competed after rigorous six-month training. Unfortunately, cutbacks in 1999 led to the conclusion of the Royal Tournament. However, this historic sport found a new home in the cadet world, complete with specially designed hardwood field guns crafted by a Devon-based coach builder, which also holds contracts for the Royal Family.

Photo: Students Audrey Tsang and Mabon Henry with Royal Navy trainers, Chief Petty Officer Bill Bilbe and Chief Petty Officer Simon Blick, and Dr Stephen Belding

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