WHSB Celebrates Cadets’ Achievements
Staff and pupils at Westcliff High School for Boys were delighted to welcome Royal Navy Officer, Captain Ian Cull, to inspect their Combined Cadet Force (CCF) during the Biennial Review of the Contingent on 26 April 2019.
Cadets and Year 8 pupils took part in demonstrations of CCF training exercises and static displays followed by the formal parade and inspection. The day concluded with an evening Annual Mess Dinner, in full military tradition, to which cadets, parents, family and friends were invited, for which Col (retd.) Murdo Urquart, CEO of the Combined Cadet Force Association, was the guest of honour. Speeches, toasts and a slideshow followed the meal in recognition of the CCF’s achievements.
Individual achievements by cadets have included Year 13 student Jonathan Travers, the School’s Head Boy, being appointed as one of the Lord Lieutenant of Essex’s cadets in 2018/2019. This appointment, involving assisting the Lord-Lieutenant in carrying out her duties as Her Majesty the Queen’s representative for the county of Essex, acknowledges a cadet’s outstanding contribution to their cadet service and to the community.
In addition, 16 year-old pupils Douglas Pitcher and Daniel Barton were selected from hundreds of cadets across the UK to represent their country on the six-week Canadian Cadet Exchange programme. This ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity took place in the summer holidays after their GCSE examinations. It was also the first time ever that cadets from a Cadet Expansion Programme state school had been successfully selected.
Westcliff High School for Boys’ cadet unit was initially formed in partnership with The Brentwood School, who had the largest Combined Cadet Force in the country. Westcliff High School for Boys’ own Contingent became independent from The Brentwood School in January 2015, being the first new State School CCF established as part of a new wave of expansion in the country. Initially just an Army section, the Royal Navy Section became active in 2018 and expansion to become a Tri-Service Contingent is envisaged. Westcliff High School for Boys’ CCF now stands at 160 cadets strong, comprising students from Years 9 to 13.
Major Jonathan Bleakley, Contingent Commander and Director of Lower School said:
It gives me great pleasure to see our CCF Contingent’s achievements recognised and celebrated in this way. The cadets within the CCF’s Army and Navy Sections show tremendous dedication and have conceived and delivered the exceptional training seen today entirely themselves whilst developing their own skills and qualities. This is what the cadet forces are all about.
Headmaster, Mike Skelly, said:
I am tremendously proud of the School’s CCF Contingent. They have grown from strength to strength and play a significant part in the life of the School and the wider local community.