Detachment Profile: Burwell

Detachment Profile: Burwell

16 October 2023

  • Cambridgeshire ACF

Like many of our Detachments, Burwell has grown significantly over the last few years, testament to the hard work of our adults and the enthusiasm of our cadets. Burwell now has 30 cadets, and a superb team of experienced adult instructors.

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Burwell Detachment.

Burwell has a good Detachment building next to the local sports centre, with a large empty nearby car park to use as a parade ground. The Detachment is run by SSI Dave Moller, whose service to others extends beyond the ACF, through to his professional career as a private ambulance driver. He said: ‘I drive on PTS (Patient Transport Service) shifts repatriations, and HDU (High Dependency Unit) services. I have been working back on them since Covid lock downs started, and for the first lock down I worked on frontline (999) calls.’ Dave has been in the ACF for almost 16 1/2 years, holding various posts including Detachment Commander (DC) at Waterbeach, before joining Burwell in March of this year. His medical experience is put to good use in the ACF, as he is also a training assessor for the First Aid at Work course for adults and cadets and 3 Coy’s Medical Services Assistant. He is enthusiastic about his Detachment's success, saying: ‘With help from my predecessor, SSI Drummond, and my 2IC SI Nicole Gibbs, we have built Burwell up over the last few months. We now have a very good group of cadets and adults, and things are going really well.’

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SSI Moller at his desk.

Like all parade nights, the Detachment starts and finishes with a formal parade. This is an opportunity for the DC to brief the cadets about what they will be doing, and for the cadets to ask questions and for the adults to deal with any problems.

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First parade.

On Thursday 12th October the cadets were beginning preparations for Remembrance Sunday, at which they will parade and lay a wreath. The cadets spent the evening practising marching, with specific cadets also rehearsing carrying the Detachment’s standard and laying a wreath. The expected standard of drill and turnout is high, as all the cadets understand they are representing, and honouring, our Armed Forces. As with much of our teaching, the cadets are largely self-sufficient, and the drill is taught by senior cadets, watched over by Adult Instructors SI Greg Jones and SI Paul Lambert. Cadet LCpl Neilson said: ‘The cadets have done really well tonight- they have made quite a bit of progress.’

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Drill practice.

At their NAAFI break the cadets get to purchase snacks and drinks and spend time with their friends. For many cadets, this is the greatest appeal of the ACF. Cdt LCpl Neilson said; ‘I have loads of friends here, and we all work together really well.’

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Cdt LCpl Leon Sargent carries the standard.

At the final parade of the evening, Cadet Reubin Bergin is awarded his certificate for completion of Basic Training, and is warmly applauded by his fellow cadets and adults. Their support and encouragement symbolises the Detachment's emphasis on high standards and achievement, but even more importantly, its atmosphere of fun, camaraderie, and friendship.

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Cdt Bergin receives his certificate.

Text and photos by SI Doug Stuart