A Busy time for Whittlesey Detachment

A Busy time for Whittlesey Detachment

6 July 2023

  • Cambridgeshire ACF

This year, Whittlesey Detachment has seen exceptional growth, with over 40 cadets now parading. In an effort to keep expanding and to support active engagement with the many opportunities the ACF can offer, Whittlesey Detachment has had a busy couple of weeks.

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At Wellington Barracks with Grenadier Guards.

On 18 June the detachment took part in Whittlesey Big Bash, a local event held on the grounds of the town’s leisure centre. The event has a focus on local music, talent, community groups, and business. Whittlesey Detachment did more than just offer a recruitment stall, they were an active part in the running of the event. Cadets undertook many tasks including supporting the set-up of the event, escorting local dignitaries around, and acting as stewards for the general public.


Cpl Randall, High Sheriff, Dep. Mayor, Cpl Crosby

The dignitaries at the event included the High Sheriff of Cambridgeshire Dr Bharatkumar N Khetani, and Whittlesey Deputy Mayor, Councillor Dee Laws. Cadet Corporal’s Grace Randall and Kaityn Crosby were exceptional in how they escorted, looked after, and supported them both. Dr Khetani and Councillor Laws could not speak highly enough of both cadets.

In addition to the formal dignitaries, a local competition winner to become “VIP for the day” was also escorted around by cadets. VIP winner Diego Townsend was escorted by Cadet Lance Corporal Bethany Carnegie upon arrival at the event.


'VIP for the day' with cadets on a Green Goddess.

Another highlight of the day was the recruitment stall itself, which was part of an activity circuit for children aged 4-12 to engage with activities at various stalls to get a gold star. These can then be exchanged for some fudge and a medal. In total, 23 cadets supported Whittlesey Big Bash. Event Organiser Robert Windle personally came and thanked the cadets for their support at the detachment the following week, as he was fully aware of the contribution the cadets made to this local community event.


Cadets forming up for the National Anthem.

On the 24-25 June Whittlesey Detachment sent 14 cadets to No. 1 (Hereward) Company’s Pre-Annual Camp at RAF Barnham, Thetford. Over the weekend the cadets were placed into various mixed ability platoons, with the aim of working together to learn new skills within the subject of fieldcraft and engage in several exercises.

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Cdt Dunkley and Cdt Graves acting as casualties.

Some Whittlesey cadets were given specific roles including platoon commander, section commander and section 2IC. All the cadets, and especially those in specific roles, had an enjoyable, albeit hot, weekend. They all rose to the challenge placed on them, stepping outside of their comfort zones to enable them to fully engage and enjoy the weekend.

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3 Platoon at Pre-Annual Camp.

With pre-annual camp now complete, cadets of Whittlesey Detachment are now in the final preparations for Annual Camp 2023 with 22 cadets expected to attend from Whittlesey alone. The largest amount from No. 1 (Hereward) Company detachments and 3rd largest within Cambridgeshire ACF.

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The Detachment at Wellington Barracks.

The final event Whittlesey have been engaged with was a trip to The Guards Museum in London on 02 July. As a Grenadier Guards affiliated detachment, cadets felt that a trip to the museum of the Foot Guards Regiments would support them in their understanding and knowledge of the regiment whose cap badge they so proudly wear.

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Inside the Guards' Chapel.

15 cadets were selected and taken down to London in minibuses. After a tour of the museum, a walking tour of central London took place. Highlights included The Royal Military Chapel (The Guards Chapel), Parliament Square, The Cenotaph, Downing Street, The Women of WWII memorial, Trafalgar Square, Admiralty Arch, Guards Memorial, Horse Guards Parade, St James’s Park, The Mall, Victoria Memorial, Buckingham Palace, and Wellington Arch.

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A display at the Guards Museum.

The cadets behaved impeccably resulting in an enjoyable day which for some was their first ever visit to London. Such opportunities offered by the ACF really do enhance their experience within the organisation, but also enrich them as individuals.

Text by Lt Richard Nicholson, Detachment Commander, Whittlesey.

Pictures by RWT Photography, Lt Nicholson, SSI Worsley, and SSI Summersell.