Echoes of Victoria in the Falklands

The Falklands, of course, have a key page in naval history due to the events of 1914 surrounding Graf Spee’s Squadron and an entire chapter involving the events of 1982. However, there is also another, older facet of the Royal Navy that endures in Port Stanley.

From the Falkland Islands Defense Force:

The FIDF, a volunteer Territorial force in the islands, operates two saluting guns on Victory Green marking key ceremonial occasions and acts of remembrance.

The guns are Hotchkiss 3-Pounder [47mm] Quick Firing guns manufactured in 1896 and marked with Queen Victoria’s Royal Seal on the breech. The guns reportedly arrived in the late 1990s from Gibraltar to “replace the previous guns that were in poor condition.”

Now that’s a beautiful mount

The guns were originally used as torpedo boat busters in the Royal Navy and a number endure around the Commonwealth as saluting guns and gate guards. The saluting cases are reloaded and restamped war shots, with the FIDF having some cases with manufacture dates going back to the 1920s.

During public events, each gun is normally crewed by two FIDF members, and the guns are commanded by the FIDF Company Quartermaster Sergeant(CQMS) who is also responsible for maintenance.

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