The Royal Navy’s Field Gun Competition is the latest act to join the spectacular line-up featured in this year’s Edwardian Pageant taking place on the evenings of the 14, 15 and 16 May at Royal Windsor Horse Show. The display is set to bring an exciting competitive team element to the evening’s performances.
The Royal Navy’s Field Gun Competition originated during the Edwardian era when British soldiers fighting in the Boer War found themselves besieged in the town of Ladysmith. The under-fire forces telegraphed the Royal Navy requesting naval guns be sent to the beleaguered town. These, along with various other guns, were transferred to HMS Powerful and taken to Durban. On arrival at the port they were transported inland on rail and then manhandled to the scene of the battle across very difficult terrain. Their arrival meant that the British forces were able to withstand the seventeen-week siege. On their return home the sailors from the Naval Brigade paraded their guns through London. The manhandling of the guns to Ladysmith became legendary and thus the ‘Field Gun Competition’ was born – established in 1907, during the Edwardian Era and continued until the Last Run at the Royal Tournament in 1999.
At the Pageant visitors will enjoy watching two teams from the Royal Navy go head-to-head in a Field Gun competition, echoing the strength, stamina and speed that would have been required by the sailors transporting the guns during the Boer War. This competition is the ultimate team challenge; a physically and mentally demanding event, which involves lifting and pulling vast amounts of equipment. As an event steeped in so much history and legacy, competitors have trained for months to represent their respected commands in the shadow of Windsor Castle.
Simon Brooks-Ward, Director of Royal Windsor Horse Show, said: “The organisers of the Edwardian Pageant and I are very proud to bring the Royal Navy’s Field Gun Competition to this year’s Show. This display is steeped in so much history, originating in the Edwardian era and we know it will add a very exciting competitive element to the Show’s performances.”
The 90-minute Edwardian Pageant will welcome 12,000 spectators across the three evenings and will take place in the same prestigious arena that Royal Windsor Horse Show occupies throughout the day. The Edwardian Pageant will be narrated by Alan Titchmarsh and Lee McKenzie and will also host displays from around the world, including The Oman Royal Cavalry, The Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment, The Kings Troop Royal Horse Artillery, The Garde Republicaine from France, the Spanish Horse Whisperer, Santi Serra, scenes of Edwardian horse racing, and the Indian Raj. All displays will be accompanied by the National Symphony Orchestra, which will be conducted by well-known and celebrated composer, Debbie Wiseman OBE.
Tickets for the Edwardian Pageant are now available online at windsorpageant.co.uk or via the box office on 0844 581 0755. Local Windsor residents may purchase their tickets at Windsor Information Centre located in Windsor Royal Shopping or by telephone on +44 (0)1753 743 589.