Rifle Range Post 10

There were two open days over the summer, the second of which was part of our now regular slot in the Big Picnic. To compliment the rifle range experience for both events, a couple of extra items were brought down: a bench and marking disc.

Bench and marking disc

The replica bench was made to fit into the slots in the wall of the gallery in front of target frame number 1 – there would originally have been eight benches, one associated with each target frame. The marking disk consists of a large wooden circle on a pole, black on one side, white on the other and its dimensions came from the 1931 edition of Small Arms Training, Volume V. Back in the 1940s a marker would raise the disc up above the mantlet and indicate the value of the shot just fired using a series of recognized signals, to the shooters out in the field.

We were extremely lucky to have a VIP come to visit on this occasion – Gilbert Saunders, of the Partridge Green Home Guard. Having not fired a shot on the site for over 70 years, Gilbert amazed us all by picking up the marking disk and immediately recalling the method of scoring shots, with all the correct terminology. It was a real pleasure to have him visit and tell us about his experiences here.

Gilbert demonstrates how to mark a shot

A range of weapons and equipment of the type used on the range from 1860 to the 1940s, at the first open day of 2019

A view from 200 yards at the Big Picnic 2019

Looking down range over a Bren Gun

Finally, the photo below shows the range in its current state – after all the hard work of the volunteers.

Thanks to all who have helped out.

The markers’ gallery as it is today could almost be mistaken as being from a working rifle range