GOLD MEDALS FOR CORPS at Premier Competition

GOLD MEDALS FOR CORPS at Premier Competition

On a sunny Sunday in Sennybridge, Corps became one of only three CCF units in the UK to be able to call themselves Cambrian Gold Medalists

The Cadet Cambrian Patrol is the premier Army Cadet event. Of the UK’s 65,000 Army Cadets, a bare 200 of the best are chosen to compete. This year, Caterham School CCF was in this number for the first time in hunt of unprecedently glory.

Our eight-man squad left Caterham on Friday morning and arrived at Farm 5 on Sennybridge’s sprawling training estate in the early evening. We were the first team there and our first night consisted of a kit inspections and navigation prep, while our Section Commander CSgt Gill received his orders from the OC. After a couple of hours’ sleep, we were up at 0400 hrs on Saturday to make sure we were first in the breakfast queue and had enough fuel for the long day ahead. It consisted of a 20km patrol over Sennybridge, navigating solo, which took us from scenario to scenario: first aid and casualty evacuation; an observation post; a military knowledge assessment; a radio task; and a tactical withdrawal under contact. We finished our patrol at 1900, having made it to all checkpoints without losing members to injury (unlike many other teams).

That evening, we carried all our bergens and tabbed to a woodblock, there to prepare our harbour area for the night ahead. But no rest yet – first the section built models and received impeccably prepared orders from CSgt Gill for our section attack on Sunday morning.

As Sunday dawned, we moved to Dixie’s Corner to begin the final patrol of the weekend. In a rolling platoon attack, we supported multiple other sections and completed two section attacks of our own, slickly overwhelming enemy machine gun positions manned by soldiers of the Queen’s Dragoon Guards. Following the final attack, just as we thought, sweaty and exhausted, it was all over, the squad had to complete a casualty evacuation, running with a weighted stretcher for over 500m to the final position of the day.

To conclude our weekend at Sennybridge, we took part in a final parade back at Farm 5 with all of the sections from all across the UK. We were utterly delighted to receive rare and coveted Cambrian Gold Medals, along with only two other CCF teams on patrol.

Then the RSM announced the only individual award on offer: the Best Commander on Cambrian Patrol was awarded to our very own and very surprised CSgt Gill!

Overall our time on Cambrian Patrol was very tough but enormously fulfilling – months of training as a squad came together as we achieved what no other Caterhamians and vanishingly few other British cadets have. The success we achieved was testament to the hard work of all the squad, to our camaraderie, and to the months of preparation under Captain Owen and Captain Jones.

CSgt Wolstenholme

Lower Sixth

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