UK: HMS Collingwood’s Naval Gun Fired amid Marking of Queen’s Anniversary
The saluting gun at Fort Blockhouse at Gosport – at the entrance to Portsmouth Harbour – was fired at 12 noon by four specialist gunnery instructors from HMS Collingwood at Fareham.
Commander David Hilton, Base Services Manager at Portsmouth Naval Base, said:
“It is tradition for the Royal Navy to mark important anniversaries of the Royal Family in this way. Also in keeping with tradition, the ships alongside in the Naval Base are “dressed overall” with colourful flags stretching the entire length of the ship.”
The custom of Navy gun salutes dates back to the early days of sail when ships visiting foreign ports would discharge their guns before entering, proving they were empty and that the visit was peaceful.
The portable 19th century gun at Fort Blockhouse has been firing salutes since it was acquired by the Navy in 1957.
Naval Today Staff, February 6, 2013; Image: Royal Navy