The Run Out
Average Time = 1 minute 25 seconds
The Crews march on and prepare to start. The Thunderflash is struck and we are BURNING 7 6 . . .
At the exploding of a thunder flash the gun is raced from the start position down the side of the arena and manhandled over a five-foot wall. Men and equipment pour over; within seconds, wooden spars weighing 170lb are erected and wires rigged across the 28 foot chasm.
Whilst the gun and limber are rapidly dismantled, the first men are hauled across, some carrying 120lb wheels over their shoulders. The gun carriage and gun barrel follow; the gun barrel, which weighs 900lb, is dropped into it’s carriage as if it was a toy.
The remainder of the crew, wheels and limber are pulled over and, having raced through the opening in the second wall, which is too narrow for the gun and limber to pass through with wheels on, the crew engages the enemy with three rounds.
The Run Back
Average Time = 1 minute
A bugle call “Retire” is sounded. All the men and gear have to be withdrawn over the wall (the combined weight of the gun barrel and gun carriage is 1,250lbs and it goes over in one piece!!) and then back across the chasm. The steel wire over the chasm is tested to some 12 tons and it sags each time these heavy awkward shapes are hauled over. As soon as the last man of the crew, nicknamed the “Flying Angel”, is across the chasm, the rig is collapsed and three rounds are fired in a rearguard action.
The Run Home
Average Time 21 seconds
At the sound of the “G” on the bugle the Gun and Limber are taken through the Home Wall, re-assembled and raced over the finishing line.
On completion of the run the times for all three phases are added together to give a “Running Time”.
However penalties are awarded against crews if the drill is not carried out correctly and these still have to be taken into account. Once these have been deducted the “Official Time” is reached.