For the first time in recent memory the CCF Review took place at the end of the Spring Term instead of the beginning of the Summer Term and for the first time for years the weather decided not to rain on the parade!
In beautiful Spring sunshine on 29th March one of the best Reviews for years was staged in the Quadrangle with nearly 250 cadets taking part and a very large group of spectators looking on. The warmth of the occasion was reflected in the Reviewer’s address by Group Captain Nick Sharpe, the Chief Executive of the East Midlands Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association, who took as his theme the triumph over adversity embodied in one of our most famous old boys, “Johnnie” Johnson, and whose complimentary remarks about the superb display he had observed were equally warmly received.
Congratulations go to all involved in producing an impeccable March On and March Past; to the RAF and Army Drill display teams; and to the Inter-service Field Gun Race teams who excelled themselves with the Army team triumphing for the third time in a row (counting their performance at the National Armed Forces’ Day in Nottingham last summer) with a near record time of 2 minutes 25 seconds and no penalties. Particular credit must go to Josh Matthews whose command of the Parade was remarkably assured and impressive and to the outstanding Standard Bearer party comprising Conor Jakubas, Nikhil Dattani-Patel, Jack Edwards and Matthew Law. To them and to the other Year 13 Senior NCOs who drilled their Escorts and Sections with maturity and confidence, thanks and congratulations are due for their proof of the success of the aim of the CCF “to develop powers of leadership by means of training to promote the qualities of responsibility, self-reliance, resourcefulness, endurance, perseverance and a sense of service to the community”.
The Priestley Sword winner this year was Cadet Coxswain Alex Westin-Hardy, who received the sword from Mrs Daphne Priestley in a ceremony which has quickly become an integral part of the morning’s Parade since its introduction last year, and whose courage and fortitude in being present after a spell of hospital treatment was applauded with particular fervour.
The Symphonic Wind Band under the direction of recently commissioned Second Lieutenant Aidan Geary enjoyed their warmest playing conditions for years and the music they provided was much appreciated for its aptness and for its wonderful contribution to the morning’s atmosphere so thanks and congratulations are due to them in equally generous measure for what they brought to the occasion.
The final plaudit goes to Cameron Sim who led the Corps of Drums (now richly enhanced by the addition of new members and fifes) for the last time after having done so for a record four Remembrance Day Parades and four Review Parades. The ‘Drums were superb and his leadership of them was as impressive as ever.