The Sirrah Cup Shooting Competition

Saturday 6th April 2019

Past Master Derek Harris is the mastermind behind this wonderful annual event which has been running for over thirty years. It is a shooting competition between the Tobacco Pipe Makers and its affiliate, The London Regiment, where we are allied to D Company, the London Irish Rifles. At stake in the competition is The Sirrah Trophy which has been in the hands of the London Irish Rifles for a number of years...

The Commanding Officer, Major Robert Brown, makes arrangements for us to meet his team of sharp shooters at one of the Army's barracks in or around London. This year it was the Wellington Barracks situated in the heart of London, close to Buckingham Palace in Birdcage Walk. For the modern Army, the days of firing live ammunition at physical targets in a shooting range are long gone. It is now all high tech. Accordingly, upon arrival, we were taken to the range and were presented with real rifles adapted to fire at interactive screens.

Divided into teams, we all set about getting acquainted with the equipment and spent our time in earnest practice under the critical gaze of our opponents. The practice scores were collated and Major Bob declared that battle would commence after lunch, a tactic surely intended to dull our newly acquired competences!

After our hearty meal we returned to the range where the Company's teams were tested under great pressure, shooting at targets at varying distances, including in simulated battle scenarios. Every sitution thrown at the Tobacco Pipe Makers was parried and repelled with vigour (if not skill) and with great tenacity before it was the turn of the London Irish Rifles. Despite their best efforts it turned out that the London Irish Rifles tied with the Tobacco Pipe Makers' A team and a deciding round was needed to settle the matter. In a tense shoot out requiring pinpoint accuracy to win, it was Nick Perry, son-in-law of Liveryman Paul Reeves, that won the day for the Tobacco Pipe Makers.

And so, The Sirrah Trophy is ours again!..or is it? It seems that our prize had been inadvertently 'left behind' at the Camberwell barracks and I am sure I heard someone from LIR call it 'my Precious'. Major Bob told us not to be alarmed, it is safe and it will be engraved to recognise our glory. We shall see...