Duke of York's Royal Military School

Oundle's CCF represent the nation's CCF in Service of Remembrance at Cenotaph

Published on isbi School News dated Wednesday 13th of November 2013

On Sunday 10 November, Oundle School's Combined Cadet Force (CCF) represented the nation's CCF in the Cenotaph Remembrance Parade.

Oundle School staff Major Huw Roberts and Lt Geraldine Skinner RNR accompanied 28 male and female cadets from all 3 of services (Army, Navy and RAF) of Oundle's 460 strong CCF Contingent.

Oundle's was the only CCF taking part together with 3 other cadet units in the parade - one representing the Sea Cadets Corps (SSC), one representing the Army Cadet Force (ACF) and one representing the Air Training Corps (ATC).

Oundle has had a CCF continuously since 1902. The 28 pupils representing the School CCF were all Sixth Form cadets who hold senior positions in the CCF.

Major Roberts commented, 'We were extremely honoured and privileged to have been selected out of the 280 country-wide CCFs to participate in the Cenotaph. Our pupils represented all 3 Sections (Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force) and there was a mixture of male and female cadets on parade, reflecting the co-educational status of both Oundle and our CCF. We were invited to attend by the Combined Cadet Force Association (CCFA) who had, in turn, been requested by the Royal British Legion to provide cadet representation at the Cenotaph Remembrance Parade. This was a memorable and moving occasion for all concerned.'

The National Service of Remembrance at the Cenotaph in Whitehall is a unique expression of national homage devoted to the remembrance of those who have given their lives in war. It was originally conceived as a commemoration of the war dead of the First World War but after the Second World War the scope of the ceremony was extended to focus on the nation's dead of both World Wars, and in 1980 it was widened once again to extend the remembrance to all who have suffered and died in conflict in the service of their country and all those who mourn them.

The service at the Cenotaph is framed to ensure that no-one is forgotten. The wreath laid by The Queen and the other tributes placed on the Cenotaph are dedicated to all who have suffered or died in war. Members of the Cabinet, Opposition Party leaders, former Prime Ministers and certain other Ministers and the Mayor of London are invited to attend the ceremony, along with representatives of the Armed Forces, Merchant Air and Navy and Fishing Fleets, and members of faith communities. High Commissioners from Commonwealth countries also attend the ceremony and lay wreaths at the Cenotaph.

The Oundle cadets reported at Admiralty Arch and marched as part of the parade through Trafalgar Square, down Whitehall, into Parliament Square, Great George Street, and then onto Horse Guards Road. There was a Royal Salute as they entered Horse Guards Parade.

Staff and cadets had lunch in the Royal Air Force Club following dismissal from the parade.

Oundle School CCF were also represented at the Oundle town parade as usual, with a Colour Party, a contingent of 30 cadets, and the CCF Marching Band.

Oundle's Combined Cadet Force (CCF)
Contingent Commander: Major A.C. Mansergh Royal Marines
The Cadet Force is the largest single organisation in the School; numbering 460 cadets out of an eligible pool of 820 pupils. Eighteen members of staff provide a varied and exciting training programme every Wednesday afternoon during the term. Additional staff assist during the field weekends and holiday periods. Success and recognition is achieved at national levels; in both 2010 and 2011 a senior cadet was the runner up in The Duke of Westminster Award. Drawn from the country's best 200 cadets this annual competition is run to find the top cadets. Oundle has produced three finalists in the last four years.

The CCF comprises of three sections: the Army Section, the Royal Navy Section and the RAF section, and is compulsory for all pupils for one year only (in the Fourth Form or Year 10). All three sections have a common core of Drill, Turnout and Skill at Arms. The RN Section then specialises in rowing, sailing and power boating, the Army Section in infantry skills and tactics, and the RAF Section in flight training. At the end of their Fourth Form year cadets may leave or decide to stay in the CCF. For those who wish to continue their cadet careers the options include remaining in the Single Service Sections, undertaking NCO Cadre training, or joining one of the specialist training sections: Fire and Rescue (the unit trains on its own fire engine), Adventure Training, and Diving.

Training takes place every Wednesday afternoon with two field weekends, one in September and one in April. In addition, every cadet will undertake at least one camp during School holidays. These camps include skiing in the Alps, diving in the Red Sea, climbing in the Alps and Scottish Highlands, as well as military camps organised by the RAF and Army.

The Oundle School Corps dates back to 1902, as the 'Rifle Corps' 1st (Volunteer) Battalion the Northamptonshire Regiment. Since 1958, the Cadet Corps at Oundle has continuously maintained all three Service sections (Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force). Cadets are able to attend the many national camps and courses available to them, some of which are aimed towards gaining qualifications (e.g. power-boating and first aid) whilst others are aimed at developing leadership and teamwork skills.
Oundle's CCF represent the nation's CCF in Service of Remembrance at Cenotaph - Photo 1Oundle's CCF represent the nation's CCF in Service of Remembrance at Cenotaph - Photo 2
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