Oundle’s Combined Cadet Force (CCF) on Autumn Field Weekend
20th October 2014

The cadets of Oundle School CCF were blessed with a weekend of fine September weather for their autumn Field Weekend, which saw the Contingent’s 400 cadets training in Snowdonia, Portland, Grafham Water, Thetford and Oundle.


The Royal Navy Section took sixty five cadets to the water sports centre at Grafham Water, where they completed a variety of RYA courses including Windsurfing, Sailing, Kayaking and Power Boating. Their colleagues in the Diving Section spent the weekend diving in Portland Harbour, enjoying underwater visibility that was better than usual, during their training for BSAC Ocean Diver.


The Army Section split, leaving the 150 younger recruits in Oundle to complete a variety of activities including Shooting, Drill, Field craft, Cooking and Kit husbandry. In this 100th anniversary year of the start of World War 1, the cadets also watched a moving film called ‘My Boy Jack’ about Rudyard Kipling’s son, John, who died shortly after his 18th Birthday at the Battle of Loos in 1915.


Cadet, Lucie Baker (15) commented, “The CCF Army AIC Section went to Thetford Forest in Norfolk for our September Field Weekend. During the course of the first day, all six Army sections participated in camo and concealment lessons, field craft activities, stalking, intentional section attack planning and multiple section attacks before settling down to a dinner of ration packs. At 9.30pm each section went out on a tactical night patrol which consisted of orienteering to find three check points before returning back to our self-made bashers in the forest in order to get some sleep.

After another early start the next morning, each section participated in two section attacks in which we were able to fire a total of eighty blank rounds at the "enemy". We left Thetford at 1pm only to return back to Oundle for a dreaded hour of rifle cleaning before going back to house for a much needed shower!”


The more senior elements of the Army Section deployed with the RAF to Thetford, where they conducted a tactical field exercise, including a night navigation exercise culminating in a series of Section Attacks.


Perhaps the luckiest group were those in the Adventure Training section, who travelled to North Wales and enjoyed stunning weather whilst walking and mountain-biking in the mountains of Snowdonia.


Junior NCO, Rafe Trundell (16) commented, “The AT section of the CCF spent two nights at Capel Curig Training Camp near Betws-y-Coed engaging in a range of stimulating and challenging outdoor activities. This included spending a morning mountain biking around the abundance of mountain paths and trails near Betws and stopping for a packed lunch overlooking a Welsh tarn. The afternoons of both days consisted of hiking on the peaks surrounding Snowdon and along the river Conwy.


On the second day, rock climbing was the main activity. Using top ropes to climb, the morning was spent ascending the natural face as many times as possible. A highlight was a challenging overhanging section near the top. The trip was thoroughly enjoyed by all.”


Contingent Commander Major Andrew Mansergh said, “This has been an excellent weekend that has given the cadets a wonderful opportunity to develop a range of skills. Most importantly, it provided the more senior cadets with the chance to build their leadership qualities, communication skills and self-confidence. We very much look forward to the next Field Weekend in April.”

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