Tag Archives: Oxfordshire

Donnington Bridge – Oxfordshire Sea Cadets – Naval Parade 7 Feb 17

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Donnington Bridge Sea Cadet’s Ship’s Bell

HMS Euryalus was a 1941 war time Royal Naval Cruiser. The Bell from the Cruiser was presented to the Oxfordshire based Donnington Bridge Sea Cadet Unit by a Jersey Sea Cadet Unit some 8 or 9 years ago.  The Bell is proudly on display now in at the home of TS (Training Ship)  Euryalus.

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A volunteer who wears two uniforms – “Being in both the Sea Cadets and a musician with the Army Reserve offers me different experiences and I can make a contribution to society in more than one way.”

Adult Volunteer Petty Officer Joseph Yu, is a student at Oxford University studying anthropology, and not only is he an Adult Volunteer working with the Oxfordshire Sea Cadets, he is also a member of the Army Reserve.  PO Yu is a member of the Waterloo Band, of the Rifles and plays the Clarinet.  Joseph who joined the Sea Cadets in October 2016 was born in Hong Kong and came to the UK in 2012, he proudly explained that he was in the Sea Cadets in Hong Kong, which is where he got the bug.

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Cadets can join the Sea Cadets as young as 10 and there is no shortage of youngsters wanting to join 

Junior Sea Cadets – with the length of service ranging from 2 weeks to 8 months.

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Very much a family affair and something to celebrate

The Family Long have a very lengthy history with Donnington Bridge Sea Cadets, Dad Keith joined the Cadets as a Boy and went on to become an Adult Volunteer, Mum Jo is also a Volunteer, and helps out with all the catering, and then there are the 6 Cadets.

Brother Kieran, and his five Sisters, Jessica (next to Dad), Amie, Isabelle, Catherine, Sophie.

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“I enjoy being a Sea Cadet, it makes me feel good, I like the courses and I am always learning new things, I enjoyed my catering course the best.”

Sea Cadet Raage Mahamed joined the Sea Cadets 6 months ago and has never looked back.  Raage who goes to Wheatley Park School, in Oxfordshire, has completed his basic First Aid class 111 course, enjoys drill and has made some really good friends.

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Cadet Chloe Harvey – responsible for the junior Cadets on Parade during the inspection from Commander Trevor Price. She said “I do this for the fun of it.”

Cadet Harvey is a Cadet First Class and lives in Oxford and goes to Gosford Hill School, Chloe was the Parade Commander for the evening.

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Sister and brother – Junior Cadets at Donnington Bridge

Isabella and Luke Humphreys from Heddington in Oxford, have just moved from Guildford.  Both Cadets have recently joined the unit at Donnington Bridge, and are enjoying taking part in the many activities on offer.

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Adult volunteers and Cadets from Donnington Bridge Sea Cadet Corps with Commander Trevor Price, Sea Cadet Southern Area Officer after their very successful Royal Naval Parade inspection held on Tuesday 7 Feb 2017.  Commander Price said, “This evening has been a pleasure, it has been good to talk to the Cadets, they have been bright and engaging, and the Unit should be very proud.”


Oxfordshire Army Cadet Force Annual Camp 2013

Annual Camp at Nesscliffe Camp

200 Oxfordshire cadets have recently returned from an interesting and enjoyable two week’s Annual Camp at Nesscliffe Camp near Shrewsbury.

It is the site of a war time ammunition depot, the training area is immediately accessible from the camp and has many building that help with training scenarios.

Visitors day to Oxfordshire Annual Camp.

Visitors day to Oxfordshire Annual Camp.

The weather was good, thus the challenge of last year’s Dartmoor micro climate was not repeated. On the first Thursday, 22 visitors came to see the cadets training, including the Vice Lord Lieutenant of Oxfordshire, Mr John Harwood DL, who presented two cadets, including Cdt RSM McLennan, with their BTEC certificates. Another visitor was Mr Cecil Jeffcoates, a WW2 Veteran who landed in Normandy by glider on 6 June 1966 as part of S Company 2nd Bn Oxf & Bucks Light Infantry, a predecessor of The Rifles. Both much enjoyed their visit.

Mr Cecil Jeffcoates comparing the LSW to the Bren he used to use

Mr Cecil Jeffcoates comparing the LSW to the Bren he used to use

The camp was again run as a Cadre camp and many APC star passes were achieved. The middle weekend saw the exercise phase with all cadres putting into practice the training of the preceding week. The Monday following was ‘chill out’ day, with the cadets visiting a theme park. The majority of the second week was a combination of the Inter-Company Skills Competition and some ‘fun’ activities, e.g. motor biking. The Inter-Company drill competition on the final Thursday saw each of the four companies trying to outshine each other with precision of their drill and smartness of their turn-out. The afternoon heralded the annual prize giving, with Quebec Company acquiring the biggest ‘haul’ of prizes. By Friday tired, yet happy and still cheerful cadets, and adults, were ready for the return trip to Oxfordshire.

For nmore information on Cadets please visit http://www.serfca.org/en-gb/cadets.aspx

My life as an Army Cadet

Cadet RSM Conor McLennan , Oxfordshire ( The Rifles ) Bn ACF

I am Cadet RSM Conor McLennan from Oxfordshire ( The Rifles ) Bn ACF and I am 17 years old. I have now been a member of the Army Cadet Force for just over 5 years. During my time as a Cadet I have had many enjoyable experiences and have made many unforgettable memories. Not only have I created unforgettable memories I have also made friends for life and become part of a new family.

I have been very fortunate in my time as a Cadet and have been lucky enough be part of some absolutely amazing and most definitely once in a life time events that I would never have been part of if I was not a Cadet.

My real experience of the amazing things the Army Cadet Force does as an organisation was in 2009. As a young and relatively new Cadet I decided to go on the Ham ‘N’ Jam Normandy Tour that is run by Oxfordshire ACF each year. This incredible tour featured battlefield and graveyard visits, as well as many commemorative parades in honour of those who fell during the Normandy campaign, and more specifically the role Ox and Bucks LI in the capture of Pegasus Bridge. This tour left me with a new appreciation for life and a new appreciation for what our Armed Forces did for us during the Second World War and the memories I created during that time will most certainly last a lifetime.

Normandy Tour

Normandy Tour

In 2010, I had the privilege of being part of Her Majesty The Queens annual birthday celebration. This particularly year was full of Cadet 150 celebrations and as part of that a selection Army Cadets, Air Cadets and Sea Cadets were selected to be part of the celebrations. I was lucky enough to be selected to fly
onboard an RAF TriStar along which was flanked by two RAF Tornadoes and fly
over London. This was an incredible experience and one that was for me a once
in a  lifetime opportunity.

Me eagerly awaiting departure at RAF Brize Norton!

Me eagerly awaiting departure at RAF Brize Norton!

Another unforgettable experience I had during my time  as a Cadet so far was my Cadet Leadership Course that I attended as a Serjeant. This experience shaped me and developed me massively as a person and gave me a new confidence in my ability and created a huge new range of leadership ability for me. During the course we did everything from skinning rabbits, to fast and furious section attacks in extremely snowy conditions, to managing a disaster. This course for me still remains a highlight of my time as a Cadet and I would definitely rate it as one of the most beneficial courses in terms of developing me as a person and in terms of the enjoyment and pride I got from  completing the course.

Another fantastic experience of mine was touring both Belgium and France with Oxfordshire ACF’s band, the Corunna Band & Bugles as a Colour Serjeant and as a Bugler and Nottingham ACF’s band, The Robin Hood Rifles. The tour featured various battlefield tours as well as many commemorative parades remembering not only British forces that fell during the First World War but also Canadian, French and Belgian forces. The real Highlight of the tour came with the Final Parade at the Menin Gate, this was an incredible experience, with people from all nationalities marvelling at our tunes as well as our ability to march and play at 140 paces a minute!

Touring both Belgium and France with Oxfordshire ACF's band

Touring both Belgium and France with Oxfordshire ACF’s band

Now into the more recent past and experiences as the Cadet Regimental Serjeant Major and the Lord Lieutenant’s Cadet. I 2012 I had the honour of being selected to be Oxfordshire ACF’s Lord Lieutenant’s Cadet which is something I had desired to be ever since I was a young 12 year old Cadet.  During my time as a Lord Lieutenant’s Cadet I have had many enjoyable experiences however the three highlights for me are the Royal Visits I was able to be a part of. One with the Duke of Kent, another with Princess Anne and the real highlight of the three and one which was definitely a once in a lifetime opportunity was with Her Majesty The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh at the Royal Maundy Service at Christ Church Cathedral in Oxford. To be stood just 10 meters away from HM and to be looking at her while singing the National Anthem was an overwhelming experience.

Lastly not only has the Army Cadet Force given me the opportunity to do things I never would have anywhere else it has also taught me many good qualities that I feel are very much unique to Cadet Forces. The ACF has taught me to be courageous, disciplined, respectful, given me integrity, loyalty and selfless commitment and has made me a far more confident and proud. However, most importantly the ACF has given me friends for life and a second family with unbreakable bonds.

Friends for life !

Friends for life !

For more information on the Army Cadets in Oxfordshire please visit http://armycadets.com/county/oxfordshire-acf/

New War Memorial

Stanford Village War Memorial

Stanford in the Vale in Oxfordshire at long last has a Village War Memorial. A remembrance memorial was recently inaugurated in the churchyard with Nivelle Company, Oxfordshire (The Rifles) ACF, under the command of Cdt RSM Fearn and lead by the Oxfordshire Army Cadet Band, marching through the village to the churchyard.

Cadet Band and Nivelle Company

Here, in the presence of members of local Royal British Legion branches and their standards, local senior military officers, the Army Cadets, members of the Fire Service, Scouts and Brownies and a very large gathering of local people, there was a service of dedication and the first wreath laid.


Stanford Parade and onlookers

The service was conducted by Rev Max Young, retired Vicar of Sanford, and Rev Richard Hancock, the Area Dean.

After the service, and Last Post and Reveille had been sounded, Mr Gordon Belcher, representing the Farringdon and Stanford RBL, thanked everyone for attending and invited them to refreshments at the Village Hall. At the hall, Mr Roy Walker, Chairman of the Stanford in the Vale Public Purposes Charity, Wg Cdr Guy Sawyer RAF, Station Commander of the Defence Academy, and Gp Capt David Drew RAF(Retd), RBL County Chairman for the Vale of White Horse, made speeches.

For more information please visist

Web: www.oxonacf.org.uk

My time as the Oxfordshires Lord Lieutenant’s Cadet

Outgoing Cadet Sergeant Thomas Pocock

I was lucky enough to be Lord Lieutenant’s Cadet in Oxfordshire in one of the busiest years to have the honour, be it the Jubilee year all 3 Cadets managed to get a lot of events and a lot of royal events. The main event of the year for us was the Queens garden party in Henley, where locals put on a royal river pageant which we all got to witness followed by tea and cakes in a wonderful setting to be topped off with a fly past from RAF Benson.

Becoming a Lord Lieutenant’s Cadet is a great privilege because for one year you have an insight into a wide variety of events which take place under the radar in communities around the county; you get to witness all these different traditions around the county such as the yearly white glove ceremony where the new High Sheriff is appointed.  This also includes duties with the military such as Armed Forces Day and Remembrance Sunday; these events are always a privilege to take part in because of the importance of them both.

Cadet Sergeant Thomas Pocock

This year we were also lucky for it to be the year of the Olympics and doubly lucky my old Warrant Officer at my local Squadron was running with the Olympic torch. Lucky for us we managed to organise a small breakfast party at one of the Deputy Lieutenants house’s for the torch bearer’s family and friends and it just added that perfect touch to such a special day.

Overall my year as Lord Lieutenant’s Cadet was an enjoyable year and something I’ll never forget. Like I mentioned in my final out going Cadet speech ‘’ I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world’’ So for cadets reading this try you best help as many people as possible and maybe one day you could be a Lord lieutenant’s Cadet.

Written by Cadet Sergeant Thomas Pocock – Thames valley wing, 2120 Witney ATC –

If you are interested in the Air Cadets as a Cadet or Adult Volunteer please visit: http://www.raf.mod.uk/aircadets/

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


Oxfordshire Band & Bugles Concentration

Oxfordshire The Rifles Battalion Army Cadet Force (ACF) hosted a Rifles ACF Band & Bugles concentration from the 12th until 16th February 2012, We had representation from Nottinghamshire, Shropshire, Cornwall & Oxfordshire ACF’s, we broke the concentration in to three wings:

1. Cadet Bugle Majors Wing

2. Bugles Wing

3. Music Wing.

1. Cadet Bugle Majors Wing

This was a Cadet Bugle Majors (BMaj) course designed for Cadet Bugle Majors in post and for potential Cadet Bugle Majors. The course started the week with a visit to Winchester to be instructed by the Senior BMaj of the Rifles Band & Bugles, the rest of the week consisted of Duties of a BMaj, Cane Drill, Rifles Band & Buglers Drill, History of the Rifles and planning the final parade including the marching display, with the top student on the course leading the parade.

2. Bugles Wing

The Bugles wing consisted of Beginner, Intermediate and Advance Buglers the aim of the week was to improve every ones bugling skills aimed from the beginners to the more advanced, learning to play bugle calls, marches, solos, bugle drills and regimental history, on the final parade every bugler was playing marches to the more advanced buglers playing Light Calvary a very difficult bugle piece.

3. Music Wing

This wing was always going to be the challenge, converting musicians in not only learning the regimental marches, but also playing & marching at 140 per min, I must say they did a really fantastic job they learnt two regimental marches and played them both on the final parade. On Wednesday night we had a visit by the Winslow Concert Band who put on a concert for all the Adults & Cadets and invited some of our music cadets to play alongside them with Cadet Serjeant T Finney from Cornwall ACF playing a Cornet Solo.

The week was a great opportunity not only for the Cadets but also the Adults as well, every one left the concentration having learnt a great deal from the week, having two ex-Regular BMajs & ex- Regular & TA Buglers who are now all Cadet Force Adult Volunteers (CFAV) was a great help not only in passing on knowledge but being able to teach the correct drills. We were very fortunate to have a visit on Wednesday by Brig Robin Draper (Hon Col Oxfordshire ACF), Lt Col Mike Neville TO CFM, Maj Tex Carlton CEO CFM & Capt P Wesley Adjt CFM.

To finalise the concentration we had a final parade which incidentally was a great credit to all involved especially the Cdt BMajs who planned the whole parade from start to finish.

Col David Carson Commandant Oxfordshire ACF was kind enough to take the salute and present prizes to the top students on the wings, also in attendance was Maj T Carlton CEO CFM.

For more information contact broome234@btinternet.com or visit www.serfca.org