A TEAM of servicemen from Royal Marines Poole tugged a two-and-a-half tonne gun through the New Forest on Saturday in a charity field gun pull.

Starting off at Bargates in Christchurch at 8am, the team of 12 took two hours to pull the 150-year-old weapon to the Freshfields Festival in New Milton, with a couple of pub stops on the way.

They were raising funds for the Royal British Legion, the Royal Naval Association, and local charity Spring – which supports mothers who have lost babies.

“It is a long old distance, and once the lads had warmed up we started increasing the pace,” said team member Adam Robinson.

“We had a couple of stops as the traffic tends to build up behind us. But we get a lot of people stopping so they can put money in the buckets.

“We are not sure yet how much there is but the runners with the buckets collected absolutely loads from local businesses and all the pubs we stopped at.

“It is great to see that community spirit in Hampshire.”

The team were given a lively send-off in Christchurch by the RBL band, and police escorted them along the roads to their destination.

On arrival they stripped down and set up the gun for firing, and a minute’s silence was held to mark the centenary of the First World War and pay tribute to the many mothers who have lost their children in conflict during the century since.

The gun was fired and the team had a well-earned beer.

They are already planning their next gun run at Southampton Football Club.