It was lovely to see so many parents, staff, guests, and Loughburians out in support of the Combined Cadet Force on Saturday 3 July for the contingent’s 63rd Annual Review. We would like to thank our guests for following COVID guidance so thoughtfully, and for braving the rain to come out in such numbers!
The drill and turnout of the cadets was superb, made all the more impressive by the disruption to training that we have experienced this year. There was a real sense of excitement amongst our NCOs, who did a great job of leading the parade.
The Reviewing Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Adam Foden DSO MBE was full of praise for the cadets, highlighting not only the quality of the formal parade, but also the wide range of training activities demonstrated after the inspection, and the spirited approach to the competitions that concluded the morning. He also reminded the less experienced cadets of what an unusually impressive event our Annual Review is – we are very lucky to be able to parade annually rather than biennially, and also fortunate to have such traditions as the Gun Run competition, the drill competition, and the training demos.
Col Foden attended LGS from 1989-96, and was the Cadet Regimental Sergeant Major (RSM) of the CCF. He fought in the Iraq War as a tank commander, and led troops in Northern Ireland and in Helmand, Afghanistan where he earned his DSO.
The inspection phase was very professionally led by RSM Tom, who was presented with the Priestley Sword and a genuine Royal Marines commando dagger in recognition of his leadership through the year. The Brockhurst Sword was carried for the first time on parade by CSM Jonathan as Escort to the Standard. Taking pride of place at the front of the parade was our superb Corps of Drums, led by Harris.
Drill Competition – the Wood-Beazley-Lane Trophy
After the inspection itself, the cadets demonstrated infantry tactics, boat rigging, leadership and team-building skills, an aviation competition, and shelter-building.
We then returned to the Quad to watch each section’s drill team compete for the Wood-Beazley-Lane Trophy. Each team interpreted the brief very differently, and each performance showed impressive skill and revealed the great teamwork and planning the goes into choreography and practicing these displays over the last few months. This is truly a cadet-driven event, with the emphasis on the NCOs to take the initiative. This year, the Vice Lord-Lieutenant Colonel Murray Colville TD DL judge the Army Section team the winners.
Field Gun Competition – the Hipkin Shield
The hotly contested Field Gun Competition was won this year by the Royal Navy Section, led by Robert, with all three sections recording excellent times despite the limited amount of practice and the poor weather conditions.
Huge thanks go to Mr Lightfoot and Wing Commander Sergeant for running the competition and assessing the safety considerations in light of the poor weather.
Lily (LHS) was awarded the new leadership prize, the Carter Cup, a parting gift from outgoing Contingent Commander Major Murphy, for her superb management of the Army Drill Team.
Patrick was awarded the Jarram Trophy for best new recruit, thanks to his superb commitment in so many aspects of CCF life, including the RAF Section, the Corps of Drums, and shooting.
Milly (LHS) pipped Patrick to victory in the head-to-head shooting competition to build on her superb consistency through the year. She was awarded the Best Shot Trophy for 2021.
The Army Section was awarded the Wood-Beazley-Lane Trophy for winning the Drill Competition.
The Royal Navy Section was awarded the Hipkin Shield for winning the Field Gun Competition.
Passing out of the Leavers of 2020 and 2021
Rumour has it that quite a few tears may have been shed as the crowd lined the Quad to bid farewell to the Leavers of 2020 and 2021, as they marched out through the Tower. The Leavers then joined their parents and other guests for lunch in the Hodson Hall, where Major Murphy gave a summary of the last two years and Lt Col Foden presented last year’s RSM Tom Williams with a Royal Marines commando dagger. The Headmaster thanked the commitment and energy invested by the CCF Staff.
It was a great pleasure to see such a fantastic morning taking place at last after so many other events being cancelled over the last year. All the cadets involved can be really proud of themselves for a superb end to a great year.