Forces Charities

Why Are Military Personnel Dragging A Half-Tonne Field Gun Across The UK?

The antique is being taken from RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire to HM Naval Base Clyde in Scotland.

A team of military personnel is attempting to drag a half-tonne antique field gun across the UK for charity.

The journey, from RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire to HM Naval Base Clyde in Argyll, Scotland, is organised by an initiative called 'Military vs Cancer'.

A new group has taken over each day, with 34 Squadron from RAF Leeming having had their turn.

Military vs Cancer was founded in January 2018 by Royal Navy submariner Warrant Officer David Bathgate.

"It was the result of losing five members of my family to cancer in an 18-month period.

The route takes the field gun through various bases, camps, towns and villages.

"The major catalyst for it was losing my brother in June 2017 to bowel cancer - from diagnosis to three weeks later he had passed away.

"In the brief chat that we did manage to have, he did make me promise that I would do all that I can to prevent this happening to any other family.

"I was terrified of him as a kid so I'm going to continue, I'll do everything I can to uphold that promise."

The journey began on Monday, and the route is taking the field gun through various bases, camps, towns and villages.

It is covering an average of around 20 miles a day, and a total distance of 330 miles.

A new group has taken over each day.

Lance Corporal Callum Brown said it is a heavy workload on the team's lower backs: "When you're pushing down, especially when you've got towards the end of the bottom barrel of the gun, you're kind of in that low-down position, so your lower back does take quite a bit of a strain but other than that I'd probably say my calves hurt more than anything else."

WO Bathgate's aim is to raise a total of £100,000, which will be split between Cancer Research UK and Macmillan Cancer Support.

He said: "I'm awestruck by the amount of support, and not just the amount of support, it's the enthusiasm, the banter's fantastic as you can imagine.

"I know the military inside out but getting the Army, the Navy and the RAF to talk to each other, and get together to this, it's been great putting it all together."

Now, having arrived safely at Catterick Garrison, there are still some 220 miles to cover.