On Sunday 1st August, Annual Camp 2021 concluded with an opportunity to recognize some of the achievements of our Cadets and adults, and welcome our new leadership team, at our End of Summer Camp Presentation.
This year’s non-residential Annual Camp has been like no other, but has retained the camaraderie, friendships, fun and achievement that makes this event so special, and is proof that Cambs ACF has withstood the challenges of the last 18 months and remains as strong as ever.
This Annual Camp, like all others, has offered Cadets new experiences and adventures, and built memories that will last a lifetime. Cadet Aaron Joyce of St Ives Detachment said: ‘Its been really fun experience. I loved zooming down the track on the motorbikes and it was great to get my hands on a shotgun!’ Cdt Corporal Scott from Newmarket said: ‘its been brilliant fun. I loved doing the water sports, especially when we were allowed to experiment, making a four-man raft and trying to knock each other off!’
The presentation day began with an inter-company drill competition, which was assessed by RSM Hockey. Cadets from 1 to and 3 Coy were able to put on an impressive display, with many of them showing how much they had learned during the previous week.
Cdt Sgt Bugg waits to begin the inter-company drill competition. Photo: PI Doug Stuart
Soldiers from the Army Recruitment Team speak to cadets. Picture: PI Doug Stuart
After this, a team from Army Recruitment, including soldiers of the Royal Military Police, the Royal Corps of Signals and The Kings Royal Hussars spoke to cadets, and soldiers of 2 Royal Anglian Regiment gave them the chance to try on some of their infantry kit. Teachers from Cambridge Regional College’s Uniformed Public Services Courses gave a presentation to prospective students.
Cdt Cpl Revelo tries on an army-issue helmet at the Royal Anglian Regiment stand. Picture: PI Doug Stuart
We were joined once again by TV personality and former soldier ‘Big’ Phil Campion who spoke extensively to cadets and adults and posed for photos.
SSI Silveri chats with Phil Campion. Picture: PI Doug Stuart
It was also an important opportunity for our Corps of Drums to return to their duties (with an audience), rehearsing in the morning and then going on to give a fantastic performance at the start and finish of the presentations.
The Corps of Drums. Picture: PI Doug Stuart
The announcements and some award presentation were made by our County Staff Officer Major Huw Roberts, and further awards being given by our Honorary Colonel; Brigadier Tim Seal TD DL, and our new Commandant, Major (now Colonel) Lesley Deacon. The presentation included those who had completed a Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, the winners of inter-company camp competitions, the award of Master Cadet, and the confirmation in rank of the two Cadet Regimental Sergeant Majors.
Senior Padre Mark Amey delivers an address to Cambs cadets, with Padre Paula Spalding stood behind him, who delivered the closing prayers. Picture: PI Doug Stuart
Brigadier Seal addresses cadets. Picture: PI Doug Stuart
A number of Cadets received Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards: an especially remarkable achievement during the pandemic. The Volunteering Physical and Skills (Bronze) Awards was received by: Adam Billson, Charlie Burge, Lauren Byatt, Sebastian Naylor-Bower, Frankie Newbatt, Kaden Sparrow. Full Completion of Bronze Award was achieved by Amelie Carpenter and Aaliyah Revelo. Volunteering Physical and Skills (Silver) was achieved by: Kate Bilclough, Sheetal Chopra, Imogen Collier, Jack Harris, Klaudia Mazur. Volunteering Physical and Skills (Gold): Erin Williams, Jack Badcock.
Major Roberts gives recipients their DofE Awards certificates. Picture: PI Doug Stuart
CSM Ryan Dunthorne collects the trophy for 1 Coy; winners of the Inter-company Drill Competition. Picture: PI Doug Stuart
winners receive their certificates from Major (now Colonel) Deacon: Cdt Dimopoulos (2 Coy) Cdt Howard (3 Coy) Cdt Cpl Crosby (1 Coy). Picture: PI Doug Stuart.
The following were awarded the status of Master Cadet: Cadet Sgt Cameron-Wickes, Cadet SSgt Wallace, Cadet CSM Nelson, Cadet CSM Pavitt, Cadet RSM Badcock, Cadet RSM Rice. Picture: Pi Doug Stuart
Clay pigeon shooting winners, Cdt Chapman (2 Coy) Cdt Sgt Trotter (1 Coy) Cdt Cpl Bowler Legate collecting for Cdt Cook (3 Coy). Picture: PI Doug Stuart
Air rifle winners: Cdt Wankowica (2 Coy), Cdt Hendly (3 Coy) and Sgt Foreman collecting for Cdt Vaughan (1 Coy). Picture: PI Doug Stuart
Cadet GP rifle winners. Cdt LCpl Cook (3 Coy) Cdt LCpl Smith (2 Coy), Cdt SgtMaj Dunthorne (1 Coy)
Cadet Colour Sgt O’Connor from Fletton Detachment, receives his promotion. Picture: PI Doug Stuart
Cadet RSMs Badcock and Rice were confirmed in their positions. Picture: PI Doug Stuart
Charlotte Wallace is promoted to Cdt Staff Sergeant. Picture: PI Doug Stuart
Colonel Fraser-Hitchen speaks to cadets and staff. Picture: PI Doug Stuart
Cadet Baker from St Neotts Detachment presents a gift to Colonel Fraser-Hitchen from his colleagues. Picture: PI Doug Stuart.
SMI Mackenzie is awarded a 3rd bar to his Cadet Forces Medal. Picture: Doug Stuart
Captain Stewart, Temporary OC 1 Coy, receives his Cadet Forces Medal. Picture: PI Doug Stuart
County Training Sgt Major Gemma Offer receives the first bar to her Cadet Forces Medal. Picture: PI Doug Stuart.
AUO Phil Barrett is promoted to 2nd Lieutenant. Picture: PI Doug Stuart.
Deputy Commandant (Adults) John Seaman is promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and confirmed in his (previously temporary) role. Picture: PI Doug Stuart.
Major Sandy Grogan is promoted to Deputy Commandant (Cadets) with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Picture: PI Doug Stuart
Colonel Fraser-Hitchen hands over Command of Cambs ACF to Colonel Deacon. Picture: PI Doug Stuart
Towards the end of the ceremony, our new Deputy Commandants were promoted to Lieutenant Colonels and presented with their new rank slides by Commandant Colonel Adam Fraser-Hitchen. The Commandant made a short speech about how much he had gained from the experience of Commanding Cambs ACF, and a new understanding of the importance of the Army Cadet Force and its significance as the finest youth organization in the country.
The final presentation was the handover of Command of Cambs ACF from Colonel Fraser-Hitchen to our new Commandant, Lesley Deacon, who also received her promotion to the rank of Colonel. Our new Commandant gave a special thank you to Colonel Fraser-Hitchen and cadets presented him with a souvenir ornament and photograph. She also acknowledged the contribution made by our previous RSM, and our County Training Officer Major Benn Morris, for his efforts in organizing the weeks events. Also receiving thank yous were RFCA professional staff members Major Geoff Hammond, Captain Charlie Allen and Lt Jim McConnell and their colleagues for all their efforts towards Annual Camp.
Colonel Deacon also thanked all the adults and cadets present for their hard work and positive attitude which had ensured this Annual Camp, inspite of difficult circumstances, had been such a great success.
Text and photos by PI Doug Stuart