Category Archives: Combined Cadet Force

Sutton Valence CCF Lance Corporal helps the Red Arrows make history


Having heard that the Red Arrows were coming to his hometown Zhuhai, China, during Half Term, Sutton Valence School  pupil and cadet Hongrui (Henry) Zhang successfully applied to be part of the support team.

The Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team was making history by performing nine public displays in China for the first time in 52 years.  During their stay, the team carried out a practice display and many ground engagement activities, including visits to universities, schools and businesses, before the full display in front of thousands of people on the opening day of Airshow China.

Henry was assigned to assist the pilots and ground crew as an interpreter and to help with transport and logistics.  “My experience in the RAF section of CCF was a great help”, he said.  “I know about protocols and the organisation, so was able to help things run smoothly for them.”

Although given a draft script, Henry translated live during the air show for Red 10 (Squadron Leader Ling) and Red 11 (Wing Commander Higgins, Officer Commanding Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team) as they commentated on the display; the first official Red Arrows commentary in Chinese.  Previously, he had been on hand in Air Traffic Control to assist Wg Cdr Higgins and Flt Lt Youle (Flight Operation Officer) during the press day, when he was also involved with British Embassy and Consulate personnel who were promoting the STEM program, British industries and education.

“It was an honour to welcome the Red Arrows to my town”, said Henry.  “I have followed the aerobatics team for some time and it was a privilege to be able to help them during this significant visit to my country; being able to engage with some of the best in the RAF is a truly astonishing experience as a pupil and an air cadet.”

The Cadet Experience

My Cadet Experience

My name is Kim Stamp / Cpl Stamp and I attend the Army Cadet Force number 11 Horsham Platoon in West Sussex. I have been attending the cadets for three years and have enjoyed every minute of the experience.

The reason I joined the ACF was to improve my confidence and skills and to make some new friends. As a child I was shy and somewhat introverted, but since starting cadets I learned to have confidence in myself and my abilities and to not be afraid to try new things. As a result I have been asked several times to give speeches and to represent the ACF in front of other people. I have made many friends and have had experiences that would not have been possible anywhere else.

CPL Kim Stamp

In my second year of cadets I was selected to join the NCO’s cadre. During my time as an NCO (non-commissioned officer) I achieved top student and received my first stripe. A year after becoming an NCO I attended the JCILC (Junior Cadet Instructor Leadership Course) and gained the leadership skills I needed to instruct other cadets. I also learned how to teach drill and to teach others safe weapons handling.

As a member of the cadet force I have learned many new skills that will help me throughout my life. When I attended my first two-week annual camp I learned how to better take care of myself both in the camp and out in the field. I was taught how to hand-clean my clothes and how to make a bed properly to army standards. Outside of the camp I learned how to find my way around by reading a map and how to properly fire and clean a weapon.

During my time as an NCO in the cadet force I have learned not only to take care of myself, but how to manage and care for other cadets. Before joining this organization I never thought I would ever be in the position to take charge of a group of other people, but my leaders and teachers helped me to gain the confidence and learn the skills I needed to be successful as an NCO. One of my favorite parts of being an NCO is teaching the younger cadets how to fit in to the group and to become part of a team. I feel a great deal of pride when I see them accomplish a task or complete a goal, and it reminds me of the joy I found in the cadet force when I first joined as a new recruit.

I know that the training and skills I have gained during this time will help me to be a strong and effective leader not just in the cadet force, but in other aspects of my life as I move forward.

For more information on Sussex ACF please visit:


Oxfordshire Army Cadets cope with ever changing weather

Annual Camp 2012

Just over 200 Oxfordshire Cadets, including four from a local CCF (Combined Cadet Force), have recently returned from a challenging two week’s Annual Camp at Okehampton in Devon.

The Dartmoor weather was nothing if not consistent in its unpredictably. The days often starting overcast, moving on to driving rain, followed by sun mid afternoon, returning to overcast late afternoon! This had the inevitable impact on activities, however despite this, the cadets had a great time training in cadres and achieving passes in a whole variety of subjects and Star levels, including a very successful 4 Star Cadre. The middle weekend saw the exercise phase with all cadres putting into practice the training of the preceding week.

Two star Cadets patrolling

The following Monday was a day-out to Bude and on the Wednesday, the Inter-Company Skills Competition commenced, with each company trying to outdo the others at the activities. By Friday, very tired, yet happy and contented cadets, and adults, were ready for the return trip to Oxfordshire and opportunity to ‘chill-out’.

The daily updates and photographs can be found at:

Thanks to:

A W N Hames


Media & Special Projects Officer

Oxfordshire (The Rifles) Bn ACF


Running the Brighton Marathon for education charity CVQO

The Brighton Marathon 2013

A team consisting of myself, A Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Eleven Army Cadet Force (ACF) Adult Volunteers from across the South East have given up their own time and are taking part in CVQO’s first major sports sponsorship initiative – the Brighton Marathon 2013.

Recently, Team CVQO met for the first time at South East Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association headquarters in Aldershot, Hampshire, where the team met up with (Cadet Vocational Qualification Organisation) CVQO Fundraiser Jeanne Peterson. Team CVQO was then briefed on what to expect from the 26.2 mile run in April, and how to make the most out of their fundraising.

Runners for Team CVQO who attended the first briefing

The current team consists of instructors from the ACF in Berkshire, Surrey, Sussex, Hampshire and IOW. All of the runners are keen to overcome their own personal challenges, and raise money to offer more educational opportunities to young people with CVQO’s qualifications.

CVQO provides opportunities for young people and volunteering adults from all three services to improve their prospects in education and work through vocational qualifications. Set up in 2001, the charity is now extending this offering from the MOD uniformed Cadet movement to other youth organisations like St John Ambulance, the Prince’s Trust, Police Cadets, Fire Service and others outside the UK.

Our runners logo

If you are interested in one of the remaining places and wish to join Team CVQO, contact Jeanne at

Please assist our team and make a small donation, every penny counts :

Thank you to you all    

Fred Hughes

Oxfordshire the (Rifles) Battalion ACF Tour of France & Belgium 2012

Guest of the Robin Hood Rifles Corp of Drums, Nottinghamshire ACF

Day One Thursday 28th June 2012

We made our way to South Mimms service station to meet up with the Robin Hood Rifles, Corp of Drums, Nottinghamshire ACF, we all had a short break and boarded the coaches and made our way to the Euro Tunnel. At 12.30hrs, we left the UK for Calais arriving in Calais at 13.05hrs; we then departed for the final leg of our journey to the Royal Astor Hotel Ostend Belgium, our home for the next five days. We viewed our rooms and unpacked. After our evening meal, we had a briefing for the next day then spent the evening visiting the local town and of course, the beach, this was a stone’s throw away from the Hotel.

Day Two Friday 29th June 2012

This morning we went onto the promenade to rehearse our marching displays, this was well received by the locals and tourist alike. At 11.30hrs, we boarded the coaches and departed for the Town of. Dikesmuide to visit the Dikesmuide Tower Museum. This posed a great opportunity for the Buglers to play the last post and reveille on the top of the tower, it was a very proud moment for the Buglers, especially seeing the public stopping in the streets, and getting out of their cars.

Buglers from The Robin Hood Rifles Corp of Drums, Nottinghamshire ACF,& the Corunna Band & Bugles of Oxfordshire the (Rifles) Battalion ACF, on top of the Dikesmuide Tower.

We then went to Fromelles Cemetery, which is the newest commonwealth war grave, which was opened officially in January 2010. Most of the Soldiers laid to rest here were from the Australian Army. We laid a wreath on the monument whilst the Buglers played last post & reveille. We then departed for the hotel and returned just in time for dinner.

Day Three Saturday 30th June

This morning we had rehearsals on the promenade, again to the delights of the locals & tourist. We departed the hotel at 11.30hrs and were en-route to visit the Town of Ypres, seeing the Menin Gate was a first for many of our Cadets & Adults, we had a chance to look around the shops, to try the local cuisine, to visit the Cloth Hall Museum, Flanders Fields’ Museum, and St Georges Memorial Church. We departed Ypres and took a short journey to Tyne Cot Cemetery, which is the largest British Cemetery on the Western Front with 11,500 war graves a memorial wall at the back of the cemetery that has 34,888 names of soldiers from many different regiments that were killed between 16th August 1917 and the end of the war. We laid a wreath, whilst the Buglers played last post and reveille, while the buglers played everyone in the cemetery came to a standstill to pay their respects.

The Robin Hood Rifles Corp of Drums, Nottinghamshire ACF & The Corunna Band & Bugles of Oxfordshire the (Rifles) Battalion ACF, At Tyne Cot Cemetery.

We then departed for Langemarck the German Cemetery, within the cemetery, it contains the remains of 44,000 German soldiers, and 25,000 of these lie near the entrance in a single mass grave. At 16.45 we departed for the hotel, after dinner at 19.45hrs we did a full dress rehearsal on the promenade for our big day tomorrow.

Day Four Sunday 1st July 2012.

Sunday was our big day. It was an early start, as we had to depart the hotel at 08.00hrs for the two and half hour journey to the French Village of Foncquevillers. When we arrived at Foncquevillers, we had to change into our uniforms ready for our first parade to the British War Graves a great sense of pride was felt by all, as we marched off to the  cemetery, a short service was delivered in English and French and wreaths laid to honour the fallen. We then had a short march to the French Resistance Memorial and the Monument of a Canadian Plane that was shot down over the Village during the Second World War. After we had finished our parades, the locals put on a delicious three-course meal, which we all enjoyed very much.

Parade and Service at the British War Graves Cemetery in the Village of Foncquevillers.

We departed Foncquevillers at 16.00hrs and headed for our final parade at the Menin Gate Ypres Belgium, We had time for a short walk and refreshments in Ypres before we began our final parade. At 19.30hrs, we needed to be ready and formed up at the Menin Gate by 20.00hrs. The amount of people from so many different countries was amazing to see, and the atmosphere of the Menin Gate was quite over whelming. As we marched off to the whole crowd clapping and cheering, I do not think any of us had ever been as proud as we were then. At 21.00hrs we departed Ypres for the hotel for our last night in Belgium and too McDonalds.

Marching through the Menin Gate

Day Five Monday 2nd July 2012.

After breakfast, we loaded the coaches ready to set off at 09.00hrs for our return journey to the UK. We arrived at the Euro Tunnel and departed Calais at 13.00, having arrived in the UK, we headed off to South Mimms service station to pick up our transport to take us back to Oxfordshire and say our final good byes to the Robin Hood Rifles, Corp of Drums.


The tour gave all us an experience of a lifetime, and opened our eyes to the day-to-day challenges endured by the Service Man during the Great Wars. This tour was an opportunity not to have missed; the parades we undertook left us all with a great sense of pride to be able to honour the fallen and our Service Men still serving in the Armed Forces today.

For more information contact Peter Broome on

Sutton Valence School CCF

Easter Bunny

Easter Bunny is a competition that involves the sending and receiving of serial numbers to as many stations as possible during set times. The set times were the 17th march 10.00 -15.00 and 18th March 10.00-15.00. All of the NRN frequencies are used and there are bonuses for communicating with the same station on multiple frequencies.

The team who competed were, CSM Andy Thomas team Captain, Sgt Oliver Bateman,Cdt William Woodford, Cdt Guy Thomas and Cdt Tom Bennet.

The team set up our radio station the night before the competition using 2x12m Racall masts and a PRC 320 (the HF radio issued to cadet signalling platoons)Using a half length horizontal dipole. With our radio set up, and our call sign issued, we started the exchanging of serials from stations as far as Scotland. The first day looked promising with roughly 30 contacts on day one. The second day started well with a strong clear connection with the other stations and we resumed sending and receiving the serials by the end of the second day the team had made around 40 contacts, the team worked hard with some very good voice procedure from the team as well as some good relaying, special thanks goes must go to the headmaster for his supply of Jaffa Cakes as well as Major Millbery frequent visits with the Signals dog. The team performed very well, building on experiences from previous competitions. SVS  CCF Signals has advanced considerably, notably aided by assistance from Signallers from 70 Gurkha Fd Sqn.

CSM Thomas (Team Captin)

Sutton Valence School North Street, Sutton Valence, Kent ME17 3HL
Tel: +44 (0)1622 845200 Fax: +44 (0)1622 844103

Sutton Valence Preparatory School Church Road, Chart Sutton, Kent. ME17 3RF
Tel: +44 (0)1622 842117 Fax: +44 (0)1622 844201