MILITARY – Big Gun Competition at Redcar

Accreditation The Redcar and Saltburn-by-the-Sea 08/06/1877.


            Saturday (02/06), being the day fixed for the celebration of the Queen’s birthday, the members of the 1st North. York Artillery Volunteers held their annual competition, at the Redcar battery. Six prizes were offered for the best shooting made by the various detachments. The prizes vary from £9 for the first detachment to £1 for the sixth. None, but “efficients” of last year, and recruits who had attended fifteen gun drills were allowed to compete and no detachment was to include more than two non-commissioned officers. Twenty two detachments completed, being more than twice the number that have taken part in any previous competition. Each detachment fired four shots – the No.1 , firing two rounds and then changing rounds for the third and fourth shots. The men left Middlesbrough all by the 2:30 p.m. train, and on arriving at Redcar marched to the battery, headed by the band, and under the command of Major Stevenson. The target was fixed at 1400 yards, and eight minutes were allowed for the four shots – one point to be ducted for every quarter of a minute over that time there was a very large attendance of officers and of spectators, who had mustered on the banks to witness the shooting. As soon as the men arrived at the battery. The No. 1’s of each detachment drew lots for the order of firing. The competition was carried out under the supervision of Colonel Chaloner and Adjutant Owen T. Jones, Captain R.M.A. the whole of the remaining offices of the brigade were also present during the afternoon, viz: Major Stevenson, Captain Rudd, Hill, Dixon, Schmitz, Ellerton, and Willmann; Lieutenants Clarke, Chaytor, Robinson, Bell, R. A. Clarke, Morris, Firth, Staniland, Brewster, and Hambley, Dr. Sleightholme, and Dr. Pearson. Shooting commenced shortly before four o’clock, and continued until about half-past seven. The sea was calm, and the weather, except that the wind was high, was favourable for good shooting. The wind unfortunately, blew from the rear, and the smoke from the guns frequently obscured the targets, so that the shooting had to be stopped till the smoke cleared away, which caused a good deal of time to be lost; and it was at one time feel that all the detachments would not be able to shoot. There were a few wide shots during the day, but on the whole the shooting was very good, and would have reflected credit upon any corps. Although the target was never actually struck, yet a fuel shots fell in such proximity to it that the spectators believe a hit at been scored, and it was only when the spray cleared away, and the target again appeared that it was found that such was not the case. Detachments from every battery in the brigade took part in the competition, and not only was the shooting good, but the four rounds were fired in very good time, the short list time being 5 minutes and 30 seconds; the majority did it from six to seven minutes and only an odd detachment of two well in a few seconds over the time allowed. The results of the competition is as follows, the names given being those who acted as No.1 , of the various detachments:- Corporal Anderson’s detachment, No.1 battery. 33 points £9; Sergeant-Major Johnston. No.3 battery, 28 points, £4.10s; Sergeant J. Tate, No.1 battery, 26 points,£2.5s; Gunner Baxter, No.7 battery, 25 points, £2.5s; Corporal Pallister, 24 points, £1; Sergeant Kirk, No.1 battery 24 points, £1. In the evening Major Stevenson entertained the offices of the corps at dinner at the Swan Hotel, Redcar, Mr. C. J. Coleman, and Mr. A. Macdonald were present. A sumptuous repast was served, and a very enjoyable evening was spent.


Lol Hansom November 25, 2014 Military & War Years