This year’s Annual Review of the CCF (aka ‘Inspection Day’) saw the continuation of many traditions – and the introduction of a couple of innovations – in a fine celebration of the cadets’ achievements this year.
The parade was inspected by Commander Peter Higgins RN AFC, who was a pupil at LGS between 1990-1997 before joining the Royal Navy and training as a helicopter pilot. He has enjoyed a highly successful career that has seen him captain several of Her Majesty’s warships, most recently HMS Protector, the Antarctic icebreaker. Guests included Michael Kapur Esq OBE, Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Leicestershire, Admiral Sir Trevor Soar KCB OBE DL, Governors, the Head Teachers of the Schools, and numerous old boys and girls, parents, staff, and friends of the Contingent.
A splendid display by the Corps of Drums led by Drum Major Freddie Chapman was followed by the contingent paying tribute to Lt Col Don Wood who taught at the School from 1950-84, and was Contingent Commander from 1957. Commander Higgins then inspected the cadets, noting the fine quality of dress and drill.
Following the presentation of the Priestley Sword to the senior cadet and parade commander, Cadet Warrant Officer Joshua Dalrymple, and the Trooping of the Standard led by Cadet Warrant Officer Dan Limb, the cadets marched off and conducted a range of training stands to showcase their skills, ranging from shooting and archery to leadership and fieldcraft. A new addition to the programme saw RAF cadets building and (for the more successful designs at least!) flying their own DIY aircraft.
The contingent and guests then returned to the quad for the competitions and prizes. The Wood-Beazley-Lane Drill Trophy faced much stiffer competition this year, but was once again won by the RAF with their creative display. A new addition to the programme was a showcase of pace-sticking by four of the Army Senior Non-Commissioned Officers, who were followed by a combat demonstration by Patrol Platoon comprising a blank-firing assault down the Quad.
The Hipkin Trophy for the Field Gun Competition was hotly contested this year, with slick drills and fast times by the Royal Navy section setting the standard. However, a nail-biting finish, with Jamin Street just managing to keep the wheels off the ground to avoid a penalty, saw the Army section reclaiming the trophy.
Other prizes awarded included Best Shot to Silas Bovaird, Best Turnout to Scarlett Pagett-Wright, and Most Promising Junior Leader to Will Savage. Another new aspect to the day was the introduction of a farewell to our departing Upper VIth cadets, who slow-marched off the quad through the Tower, saluting the war memorial as they left. This was an emotional and fitting tribute to the huge amount of effort and dedication shown by our senior leaders, and we wish them all the very best for their exams and beyond.
Major D Murphy