Pupils of the Duke of York’s Royal Military School in Dover showed off their marching skills at their annual inter-house drill competition.
The school is popular with service families but also appeals to parents in the UK who are not involved in the armed services but value the school’s traditions and military ethos.
Captain Calvin Smith, a pupil at the school from 1999 to 2006, returned to judge the competition, accompanied by colleagues Company Sergeant Major Payne and Colour Sergeant Scott of 2 Para based in Colchester.
Marks were awarded in five categories: Inspection, Turnings, Quick Time, Slow Time and March Past. The entire school took part in a parade at the end of the day, led by the school's military band.
The final prize-giving and reviewing officer was Colonel Andy Barr OBE MA Deputy Commander 11th Infantry Brigade, who presented the drill competition shield to Junior Under Officer Joanne Hardway of winners Marlborough House.
Chloe Butler received the Baroness Thatcher Sword of Honour for being judged best Junior Under Officer of the year, commended for her work commanding the Guard and teaching the younger students drill.
Chloe Bulter and Colonel Andy Barr OBE
Chris Russell, the school’s Executive Principal, said: “Each House was very well turned out and performed excellent drill for the judges. We were delighted to welcome back one of our alumni, Captain Calvin Smith, to lead the judging and Colonel Barr to present the prizes.”
This year’s event had special resonance for the Royal Engineers, as the parade was commanded by Senior Under Officer Shanade Marsden, whose father currently serves in the Royal Engineers. Chloe Butler’s father is also in the Royal Engineers, and the reviewing officer, Colonel Andrew Barr, also served in the Corps.
Captain Calvin Smith was a Cadet Regimental Sergeant Major and a Senior Under Officer at The Duke of York’s Royal Military School before leaving to gain a BSc in Sports Science at Swansea University. While there he joined the University of Wales Officer Training Corps and gained a commission in the Territorial Army. He went on to the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, where, in 2011, he was presented with the prestigious Sword of Honour as the best Officer Cadet of his intake. He commissioned into the Parachute Regiment and now serves as the Anti-Tank Platoon commander of the Second Battalion.
The Duke of York’s Royal Military School was established 210 years ago by the then Duke of York to care for the orphans of soldiers and moved, in 1908, to its present 150 acre site in the Kent countryside. As a boarding school, it offers a high quality continuity of education and pastoral care and is popular with parents serving in the Armed Forces. Since becoming an academy in 2010 and opening its doors to all students, the school has welcomed an increasing number of students from across Kent and Sussex in all year groups.
Successful old Dukies of the School include: James Jones, former Bishop of Liverpool; Simon Daglish founder of the Walking with the Wounded Charity and Deputy Managing Director, Commercial, of ITV; and the late Maurice Colclough, England International Rugby Union player.