Cadets of the Brooke Weston Trust Combined Cadet Force marked the formation of their own CCF unit with an Inaugural Passing Out Parade that was attended by Army representatives, teachers, parents and inspected by the Commanding Officer of Oundle CCF.
Students from across the Trust were invited to apply to join the CCF last year. A total of 20 were selected and, in September 2014, they joined training sessions at Oundle School, training alongside Oundle cadets as part of the Government’s Cadet Expansion Scheme that has encouraged state schools to form their own units with the support of already established ones.
Now our contingent has been given permission to form their own CCF unit, which is allied to the Royal Anglian Regiment. To mark the occasion the cadets put on an impressive drill display, were inspected by the CO of Oundle CCF and then presented with headgear emblazoned with Royal Anglian cap badges. In September a further 30 cadets will join the BWT CCF and the current cohort will move into the second year and take on leadership roles.
Students from Brooke Weston, Corby Business Academy and Thomas Clarkson Academy were supported by their respective heads as well as 2Lt Matt Isherwood, OC of Brooke Weston CCF, Senior Staff Instructor CSgt Paddy O’Hanlon and contingent 2/IC Lt Nigel Barrett.
2Lt Isherwood described it as a ‘landmark event’ for the Brooke Weston Trust and he, along with Maj Huw Roberts, OC of Oundle CCF Army section, inspected the troops and presented the caps, special awards and promotions.
Cdts Dalziel and Sammons were promoted to Cdt Acting Cpls while Cdts Fox, Robbins, Mathieson, Stapleton, Bernard, Malaquais, Domanowski, Harris, Boric and Bebb were promoted to Cdt LCpl rank.
Maj Roberts told the audience: ‘It took some nerve, it was a bold decision to decide to form a cadet unit and I salute and congratulate you on that decision and what you have achieved.’ He thanked the Brooke Weston Trust staff, the Royal Anglian Regiment and, particularly the cadets for their involvement. ‘The greatest pleasure I have, working with cadets, is seeing you young people grow before our own eyes. I wish everyone in the Brooke Weston Trust all the very best. My challenge to you of the Brooke Weston CCF is to shine a light and let others follow where you have been.’
Afterwards Cdt LCpl Robbins said: ‘It sounded like a really good opportunity, this is a wider spread of activities so it is a lot of fun. We crammed so much into summer camp in Scotland. We did a shooting of an automatic fire weapon on a range, we did adventure training, fighting in built-up areas, like kicking down doors and shooting targets inside the building and we did a large section attack at the end which tested all the things which we have learned about section attacks in one big scene. I feel more disciplined now with all the drill and I would definitely recommend it to others.
Cdt LCpl Alex Bebb said: ‘I am into activities and I thought it would be very fun. I want to develop leadership skills and push myself. The highlight has really been summer camp this year because of all the fun activities we did. We did it with Oundle School as well.’
2Lt Barrett, Contingent 2ic said: ‘They have had so much fun, that is the main thing with this cadet organisation. They have learned a lot of self-discipline and a lot of surviving in the field. They have learned how to fire weapons safely. They have learned so much, certainly as they demonstrated today doing the drill, it was fantastic. They have all come so far bearing in mind it has only been ten months. It teaches discipline, self reliance and teamwork and they did fantastically today, it makes you feel proud to have been a part of their journey.’
After the Passing Out Parade Maj Roberts said: ‘This year the Brooke Weston students trained with our students at Oundle, we mixed them all up because my view is that they can learn from each other and it has worked. We will keep in touch because not only have we worked with you we have formed good friendships with the staff and cadets which is one of the great things. Many children, if they wish to, can gain from the opportunities, that is part of the cadet experience and that is why there has been a widening of access to these opportunities. The partnership between Oundle and Brooke Weston has been a success and it has worked very well. They learned from each other. You do see children grow and develop in front of you and it is that willingness to take responsibility and be yourself, but then, when you get older to take responsibility for others as well. That is why we do have a slightly hierarchical structure in cadets which mirrors the Armed Forces, so the older students will be responsible for the younger children. There is a very important leadership element and the best way to lead is by example. I salute these boys and girls, they have come on tremendously and I wish them well.’
The Best Cadet Award Cup was presented to Cdt Cpl Dalziel
The Waterloo Shield was presented to Cdt Cpl Mathieson
The Best Endeavour Award was presented to Cdt Malaquais
The Most Improved Award was presented to Cdt Domanowski
The Most Committed Award was presented to Cdt Bates
The Best Turned Out Award was presented to Cdt LCpl Sammons