Combined Cadet Force 61st Annual Review – Saturday 5 May 2018
The CCF welcomed Wing Commander Sergeant back to the Walks as our Reviewing Officer for this year’s Annual Review. Wing Commander Sergeant joined the cadet forces as an officer in 1982, and spent his final decade at the school as Contingent Commander, so it was a real pleasure to invite him to inspect the Contingent.
The parade opened with an excellent display by the Corps of Drums, led by Drum Major Adam Wilkins, who has been a member of the Drums for all his time at the school (Year 7s take note!), before over 200 cadets from LGS, LHS, and OLCS marched on and were inspected by Wing Commander Sergeant and the Headmaster, with note-perfect accompaniment by the LES Symphonic Wind Band. The Priestley Sword was then presented to Cadet Warrant Officer Grace Kent, who is the first senior cadet of the Contingent from Loughborough High School. She has been absolutely vital to our successes this year, showcasing great leadership skills and professionalism all year.
Once Cadet Warrant Officer Harry Langley had commanded the troop of the Colour, the parade dismissed to demonstrate training activities. Parents, siblings, and visitors took an active part in archery, the Lancaster model bombing competition, drumming lessons, and use of radios, whilst there were also demonstrations of rigging a dinghy, canoeing, and a wide range of command tasks and fieldcraft lessons. It was particularly heartening to see younger boys and girls from the three senior schools being led through these activities by the cadets, and we hope to see even more potential recruits at next year’s event.
Returning to the Quad, we re-commenced formal proceedings with the inaugural Wood-Beazley-Lane Trophy drill competition. Teams from all three Services competed for a beautiful trophy commissioned and presented by Wing Commander Sergeant. The prize went to a simply astonishing display by the RAF. This team of 17 cadets epitomised exactly what the CCF is all about – they planned, organised, led, and choreographed every element of the display themselves from start to finish, and have spent well over 100 hours practicing (including on Staff INSET day!). Their leadership, commitment, and team spirit made this a real highlight of the day.
This was followed by an excellent blank-firing combat demonstration by members of the elite Patrols Platoon. Fighting off an assault on the Tower, they demonstrated slick fire and movement drills during the assault, and then showcased the building-clearance tactics they had learned during their Combat Cadet completion earlier in the term. These cadets continue to impress with their professionalism and commitment.
The final event was the famous Inter-Service Field Gun Competition. The long run of Army victories has finally been broken by a fast time from the Royal Navy team, who demonstrated that hard practice and enthusiasm can more than outweigh their relative youth and inexperience – they will be a force to be reckoned with next year!
The day was wrapped up with the contingent forming hollow square for a final address by the Reviewing Officer, and presentation of prizes. Emily Raffan was awarded the prize for Best Shot, Steffan Bernhardt won the Jarram Shield for Best New Recruit, and Tom Williams was awarded the new trophy for Most Promising Junior Leader. Additionally all the cadets and staff involved were congratulated on what was a hugely enjoyable and successful day. The morning ended with a very enjoyable dinner to thank our guests and bid farewell to our Upper VIth cadets and their parents.
Well done and thank you to all involved!
Major D Murphy