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Former gunners celebrate Suffolk reunion

PUBLISHED: 13:10 08 October 2001 | UPDATED: 10:37 03 March 2010

TALK about going great guns!

A reunion of retired gunners from all over East Anglia went with a real bang when they met up on Felixstowe seafront - and fired off a 25-pound field gun twice to mark the occasion, which shattered the peace of the seafront.

TALK about going great guns!

A reunion of retired gunners from all over East Anglia went with a real bang when they met up on Felixstowe seafront – and fired off a 25-pound field gun twice to mark the occasion, which shattered the peace of the seafront.

The Deputy Mayor of Felixstowe, Malcolm Minns, fired the gun first on Saturday, then guest of honour Major-General Graham Hollands had his turn.

The gun they used was 61 years old, and one of two World War Two guns which were on display at the reunion.

It was a spectacular moment as the gun fired over the sea with an ear-shattering bang, leaving a trail of smoke.

Mr Minns said it was a pity that Mayor Harry Dangerfield couldn't be present, but he was on a trip to Germany visiting the resort's twin towns there.

"I wish you all a successful and enjoyable weekend and many more years of activity and enthusiasm," he said.

"It has been great to have so many people coming along and meeting up with old friends," said organiser Colonel Harry Mann, who co-ordinated the Royal Artillery Association's reunion at the Marlborough Hotel.

Colonel Mann's young son, six-year-old Heera was fascinated by the big gun – even though the two bangs were very loud. "It was good fun, cool!" he said.

Before the gun could be fired, organisers took care to clear the beach and warn passers-by to keep well out of the way.

During the day, the delegates held a series of meetings with talks on subjects including the customs of the Indian Artillery, the life of a modern branch and the Royal Artillery charitable fund, and there was a social get-together in the evening.

Among those attending were Lieut Colonel Tim Cole, and Heather Brown, who is national chairwoman of the association's ladies section.

Altogether, around 50 former gunners were present, as well as some serving officers from the Royal Artillery 19th Regiment from Colchester.

WEBLINKS

www.raa.uk.com

www.army.mod.uk/army/organise/royartil

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