The Field Gun Competition – The world’s toughest race?

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The Royal Tournament was the world’s largest military tattoo and pageant, held by the British Armed Forces annually between 1880 and 1999.

The origins of its brutally tough field gun competition lie in the Second Boer War in South Africa. The legendary story tells of the siege of the British garrison in Ladysmith in 1899. In support of the British Army, the Royal Navy landed guns from HMS Terrible and Powerful to help in the relief of the siege.

Until 1999, this endurance competition was played out at The Royal Tournament, an annual show of force from the British military (with participation from allies) at Earl’s Court, a large venue in London. It was stopped by the Labour government under Tony Blair for failing to cover its costs through ticket sales.

I’m showing you this because it’s cool. And because I was there and it was amazing! I know of several participants who are missing fingers as a result of this competition, which requires a great deal of training to make this fast.