CCF Inspection Day 2022
On Friday 22 April, Merchant Taylors’ hosted its CCF Inspection Day for 2022, the first time the event has been held since 2019. The Combined Cadet Force (CCF) is one of the largest contingents in the country and celebrated its centenary in 2015, but due to the Covid-19 pandemic has been unable to host its traditional Inspection Day in recent years.
Contingent Commander Paul Ennis kicked off proceedings by welcoming more than 100 guests to school and giving them a flavour of what the CCF cadets have been up to over the past six months, including training weekends at Altcar, ship visits and how well they had fared in a number of competitions both regionally and nationally. Contingent Commander Ennis also spoke of the difficulties that Covid-19 has created for the CCF, including cadets not being able to train together owing to the need to remain in separate year group bubbles.
Just after lunch the Contingent undertook the first parade and the Inspection of the Guard was conducted by the Inspecting Officer, Colonel Darren Doherty. Colonel Doherty has filled a range of infantry appointments including platoon and rifle company commander and his staff appointments have included secondment to a UK Government department leading counter-terrorism investigation team. He assumed command of the British Army’s North West Region, with Firm Base responsibilities across Cumbria, Lancashire, Cheshire, Merseyside and Greater Manchester, in December 2021.
There was an opportunity to visit stands and view activities as our cadets showcased some of the many skills they have acquired over the recent months. Students and visitors experienced a flight simulator and many put their skills to the test.
The Gun Run was a first for CCF Inspection Day and was a real highlight of the proceedings. The origins of the field gun competition lie in the Second Boer War in South Africa. The legendary story tells of the siege of the British garrison in Ladysmith in 1899. In support of the British Army, the Royal Navy landed guns from HMS Terrible and Powerful to help in the relief of the siege. The Naval Brigade transported guns over difficult terrain and brought them into action against the Boers.
In what was a close competition the Army Section took the victory in the Gun Run after some terrific teamwork saw them reach the finish line first. It was wonderful to see so many friends and family as well as guests cheering on each of the teams through to the finish.
The final part of the day saw all the Cadets march on to the square with Inspecting Officer Colonel Doherty addressing them. Colonel Doherty spoke of how impressed he was with the cadets and how they could quite rightly be proud of their efforts and achievements.
There was one final surprise to end what was a brilliant day, as Contingent Commander Paul Ennis was promoted to Lt Col.
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- Meet our New Head Girl Team
- Queen Elizabeth II
- GCSE success for Merchant Taylors’ pupils
- GCSE joy for Merchant Taylors’ boys
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