Monthly Archives: May 2017

Oxfordshire Army Cadet Force

Tyler Jeffs

Sergeant Tyler Jeffs – Banbury Jordan Detachment – Oxfordshire Battalion

Tyler became a Cadet as a number of his friends had enrolled and thought it was something new to get involved with.

Tyler has enjoyed the challenges of overcoming many obstacles including Fieldscraft, Physical training and has progressed to become a senior cadet within his company.

He feels that it has made him far more rounded as a person and developed skills that he never thought he has, all while making life long friends.

Tyler has found it inspiring to be able to support the younger cadets in learning new skills and developing themselves as people, which has helped him develop his own leadership and teamwork skills.

Megan Robins - Bourton

Cadet Megan Robins–Bourton – Bicester Detachment – Oxfordshire Battalion

Megan Robins-Bourton has wanted to work with the Army since she was little and was encouraged to joined by her Dads friends who helps with the Cadets.

Joining the Cadets has helped boost Megans confidence and with meeting lots of news friends, she feels that it has helped make it easier to socialise with people.

Megan has overcome a lot of fears since enrolling with Cadets and really enjoys activities that she didn’t think she would.  She said:  “It is really good fun and I definitely recommend joining up.”

Aleaha Stuart

Corporal Aleaha Stuart – Donnington Bridge – Oxfordshire Battalion

After seeing of the experiences that were available with the Cadets, Aleaha signed up to become a Cadet at Donnington Bridge.

With hard work and practice, Aleaha has overcome the skills she wasn’t so good at and believes it has made her more confident, self reliable and focused.

Aleaha believes that it has changed her for the better and best part of being a Cadet is all the friends she has made.

Why I became an Adult Volunteer

Wendy White

Adult Under Officer – Wendy White – Y Company, Hampshire and IOW ACF

Wendy White is an Adult Under Officer with the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Army Cadet Force.  After her sons enrolment as a Cadet, Wendy was impressed with his boost in confidence, his health improvement and general attitude to school and other activities.

Initially out of her comfort zone, Wendy has become a ranges safety officer and has learnt a range of skills from teaching, teamwork right through to skill at arms.  Wendy found that the skills and experiences she has learned, reflected well in her work.

Wendy said; “I wanted to give that support to teenagers and learn new skills myself.  I absolutely love it and I have met some amazing people.”

Sarah Sturgeon

Flight Lieutenant – Sarah Sturgeon – 2260 Waterlooville Squadron ATC

As a Cadet previously, Sarah wanted to give back some of the fantastic experiences she had herself with the Air Cadets.  Sarah took on a failing Cadet unit and with her hard work and dedication, has lead the unit on to become South West Region Marshall Trophy Winners.

Alongside helping Cadets achieve their Duke of Edinburgh Awards, Sarah has also successfully graduated in City & Guilds in Youth Leadership and Management, which she believes has complemented her work with the RAF.  Her employers are very supportive of her role as an adult volunteer and give her 5 days annual leave for her work with the Cadets.

Chris Spratt

Captain RMC Chris Spratt – Portsmouth Volunteer Cadet Corps – HMS Excellent

Chris Spratt is an adult volunteer with Portsmouth Volunteer Cadet Corps.  After being a cadet himself, he wanted to give back to the community what he learnt from his time with Cadets.

Chris described his real sense of achievement whilst working with brilliant youngsters and helping inspirational young people develop into Responsible and Dependable Adults.  He also feels that it has enhance his Leadership and Planning Skills which brings an added benefit to his employers.

Andrea Colpitts

WO2 Andrea Colpitts – RMVCC (Portsmouth) Whale Island HMS Excellent

Andrea Colpitts became involved with the Cadets after her son as a Cadet with the RMVCC.  He has returned to the cadets as an Adult volunteer.

Andrea enjoys motivating the children and it has become a big part of her life.  She finds great joy in watching the young cadets grow into well-adjusted young adults.

She finds it heart-warming knowing that she has made a difference to the children and that they will take their skills and experiences into adulthood.

Wellington College CCF Royal Windsor

Report from Wellington College CCF:


Three of our top CCF riders competed at the Royal Windsor International Horse Show to compete in the prestigious Inter-services competition in the Castle Arena. Annabelle Turner, Millie Hockenhull and Georgie Murrin rode brilliant rounds to finish on a team score of 16 faults: Georgie ended up finishing as top individual in the first round in the fasted time with no faults, while Millie had a few undeserved poles, but rode incredibly well despite a very last minute change of horse! Annabelle had just one unfortunate pole, but coached round her home-produced young horse like a true professional.


After an anxious wait, we found out the team had made it into the top 12, so were in the jump off for the placings in front of Her Majesty The Queen! After a mounted parade of all the horses to Her Majesty, Georgie Murrin was selected to jump-off for the placings. She was extremely quick, but had an unfortunate two poles down. The pressure was immense with a full stadium, media and of course The Queen watching, but Georgie was very calm under the circumstances! The team finished in 6th place and the girls were absolutely fantastic; Demonstrating their riding finesse and proving to be excellent ambassadors for the college and CCF. It was a great day enjoyed by all!


TS Swiftsure

TS Swiftsure_028.jpg

Lilyann Yven-Dent – Cadet TS Swiftsure

Lilyann has been with the Sea Cadets for about a year as her mum thought it would be good to something with my spare time and agreed it would be something exciting.  Lilyann really likes the boating and found it really exciting to go on the sea and really enjoys doing the outdoor sports with the Cadets. Lilyann said:  “The people are nice and friendly and I would eventually like to join the Navy.”


Jake Myers Potter – TS Swiftsure

Sea Cadet Jake Myers Potter became involved with TS Swiftsure after being recommended by friend to join because of his keen interest in boats. Although having the opportunity to go sailing Jake has found the thing he likes the most is the lessons and going away for the weekends. Jake says being with the Cadets is amazing and has made so many friends after only knowing one person when he started.


Tyler Edmondson – Cadet TS Swiftsure

Tyler Edmondson followed in his families steps by becoming a Sea Cadet at TS Swiftsure.  His Mum, both brother and sister were Cadets and his sister is still with the Cadets. Tyler found his nights were boring when they were at cadets and was keen to become a Cadet himself.  The thing he most enjoys is the drill and looks forward to the summer camps, playing games and socialising with friends.

TS Swiftsure_021.jpg

Rebecca Crewdson – Adult volunteer TS Swiftsure

Rebecca becoming a Cadet with the TS Swiftsure as both her Dad and older Sibling were with the Cadets. As an Adult Instructor, Rebecca looks after the junior section which has four sections such as drill, seamanship, boating, first aid and outdoor activities which includes camping, walking and outdoor sports.  They also teach them about community and faith to help them to engage within their communities.

Rebecca enjoys seeing the children achieve their certificates and have made some great friends as there is such a lovely atmosphere. Rebecca said:  “I have learnt about how to approach different people and how to deal with different types of behaviour and encourage them to get involved. There is so much to do and you can make such a difference in kids lives, it is a really happy place for them to be.”

CIS Troop, 8 Engineer Brigade

SGT Wayne Adams1

Sgt Wayne Adams – CIS Troop, 8 Engineer Brigade

Sgt Wayne Adams served for 25 years with the Irish Guards and was encouraged to sign up by friends already in the Reserves.

Being in the Reserves gives Wayne the opportunity to work on familiar tasks as a team and assist those reservists who have never been involved with the military before.  He enjoys being able to experience the military activities and opportunities that aren’t available in any other environment.

Wayne currently works for the Crown Estate as a Warden on the Great Park in Windsor and has great support of being enlisted as a reserve, especially as his boss is the Duke of Edinburgh and is the head ranger of the park!

SPR Dan Wrixon

Sapper Daniel Wrixon

Working as a site manager SPR Daniel Wrixon has always wanted to sign up to the Army and the Reserves is the closest he felt he could get whilst still supporting his family.

Daniel enjoys the military lifestyle and the different people you get to meet.  The mentality of those in the military is that everyone mucks in to get the job done and he enjoys the drive and the push that comes with the Reserves.

The military training he has received has benefitted him in his civilian job and he has taken the structure into his role which he has used to plan and prioritise tasks.

Having never run before Daniel is now completing charity runs and marathons being inspired by his Reserve colleagues.

Daniel’s enthusiasm has now also encouraged his daughter to enroll with the Sea Cadets, which she thrives on.  She is really enjoying the trips, exercises away and being part of the military family.

PTE Lina Johnson - CIS Troop 8 Eng

Private Lina Johnson

Private Lina Johnson wanted to do something different outside of her boundaries that would push her.  Enjoying being outdoors and sports, she also felt that it would be nice to give something back herself, given all the services do to protect our Country.

As a personal assistant in London, Lina’s employers have been supportive of her Reserves role and she has been able to introduce them to the Reserves Employer scheme and show them all the benefits that are available to them.

Lina feels her confidence has grown since enrolling as a Reserve and she enjoys the support that she has received.  This has encouraged her to develop herself and she is grateful for all the potential opportunities that are available.

CIS Tp, 8 Engr Bde Veterans Event

CIS Troop, 8 Engineer Brigade held an Army Forces Veterans event at SERFCA HQ’s Seely House in Aldershot.

The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment and the Royal Engineers were showcasing some of their current operational equipment, giving Veterans the opportunity to see how the units have developed and progressed.

Corresponding with VE Day, Veterans met with both Regular and Reserve Soldiers to share their War Time experiences.  A number of Veterans spoke of what they had encountered during the D-Day landings and what equipment they had to use, compared to what is available serving personnel today.

Lewis Trinder - CIS - Veteran.jpg

On his 18th birthday, Lewis Trinder volunteered to sign up and following seven weeks training, was deployed on Atlantic Convoys to protect merchant ships from German submarines.

Lewis served on HMS Magpie, escorting Arctic convoys to Murmansk and on 4th June 1944 his ship left the Solent to travel to D-Day which was the largest seaborne invasion in history that launched the Allied invasion of Western Europe. Mr Trinder recalled that D-Day should have been on the 5th June but the ship was forced to turn around due to bad weather.

Lewis was a Seaman Petty Officer aboard on HMS Opossum when it traveled to Asia in 1945 and was demobilised with 5,000 others from Hong Kong in September 1946.

Alfred Lee - HMS Nith

Fred Lee was just 17 when he volunteered for the Royal Navy in 1943.  As his three brothers were already enlisted, his mother was reluctant to give permission, but Fred was keen to enrol and began training on a newly-built river class frigate, HMS Nith.

In February 1944, the vessel failed its sea trials and was converted into a brigade headquarters ship.  The Nith was to be based at Normandy acting as headquarters for the 231st Infantry Brigade, which was to land on Gold Beach.

Fred was an apprentice boiler maker prior to the Royal Navy and wanted to take up the role of a stoker but was unable to because he was not yet 18, so was given the position of an telegraph operative instead.  Still keen to become a stoker, with a little help from the Padre, Fred’s CO agreed he could transfer into a Stoker Position given his previous experience.

Unfortunately, The Nith was struck by a Mistel (the German remotely guided weapon) which involved two aircraft which flew attached to each other. After repairs, HMS Nith sailed to the Far East and was at Rangoon at the time of the Japanese surrender, Fred was demobilised in 1947 and he returned to marry Joyce and raise three children.

An Education At Sea

A primary school teacher from Hampshire has spent the last 2 weeks at sea with the Royal Navy, learning what life is like on an Operational Warship.


Married, father of one, Graeme Nolan has gained invaluable experience embarked in HMS IRON DUKE as the Type 23 frigate took part in Exercise Joint Warrior, one of the largest tri-service and multinational exercises of its kind in Europe.  Based in HMS KING ALFRED in Portsmouth, Midshipman Nolan is one of the growing numbers of Reservists that spend their free evenings and weekends training as a member of the Royal Navy.

As part of his training as a RNR Officer, Midshipman Nolan has been getting to grips with all of the elements that combine to make a Royal Navy warship function.  From time spent with the Marine Engineering maintaining diesel generators, to time spent up on the Bridge witnessing a live gunnery off the Cost of Cape Wrath; seeing HMS Iron Duke during a war fighting exercise has allowed him to witness the RNs capability against Air, Surface and Sub-Surface threats.

Speaking of his time onboard Midshipman Nolan said,

I am delighted to have worked with my counterparts in the regular service over the last 2 1/2 weeks.  The professionalism and cheerfulness of the Ship’s Company is a credit to the ship and the wider service.  During Exercise Joint Warrior I have undertaken tasks throughout the ship with all departments on board.  The opportunities provided have been invaluable.  I have thoroughly enjoyed working with the highly-trained chefs in the Galley, conducting Replenishments at Sea, conducting rounds with the Weapon and Marine Engineering departments, gaining an understanding of the Operations Room, keeping watch on the bridge and assisting with flight deck operations.  The experiences gained will provide a solid foundation for the rest of my RNR career and will leave lasting memories.”