Event Coverage, Goodwood Revival
OCT 01st 2021

Laura Thomson

What's it like to fire a massive naval gun on land?

The autumnal breeze flirted with my ankles, sending a cold chill creeping up to my core. I counted my breaths as the anticipation escalated, following the controlled technique defined by the marksmanship principles. On the shout, I fired, and a millisecond delay was chased away by a deafening boom, as reverberations tore through my entire body. But I wasn’t lying prone in a woodblock on Wessex Storm – far from it, in fact. I was stood in a skirt in sun-soaked West Sussex, and the gun (if we’re allowed to call it that) was in fact a pair of four-inch Naval cannons, the last remaining component of the County-class heavy cruiser, HMS Devonshire, which has long since gone to the scrapyard.

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