2 Coy’s visit to Sandhurst

SI Emily White tells us about this inspirational trip.

2 Coy’s visit to Sandhurst

17 April 2022

  • Cambridgeshire ACF

Cambridgeshire Army Cadet Force ensures our cadets (and adults) develop their full potential, including leadership, confidence building, and teamwork skills. There is no better place to inspire these qualities, and encourage achievement, than the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (RMAS), where all officers of the British Army are trained.


The cadets and adults at Frimley Park.

On Monday 11th April, 25 of 2 (Cromwell) Company’s prospective and current Cadet NCOs headed for The National Cadet Training Centre Frimley Park, Surrey. As Frimley is very close to Sandhurst, it was the ideal place to stay. We were warmly welcomed by Adjutant Captain Matthews RE, and his colleagues. A quick uniform inspection saw us through until lunch. Then we moved back onto the coach and left for Sandhurst.


Cadets at Frimley.

This visit is the first of its kind for Cambridgeshire ACF. The trip was designed to “Inspire to Achieve” – an important message, echoing the National Army Cadet Force motto.

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Cadets on arrival at Sandhurst.

Upon arrival at RMAS, we were greeted by Errol Hutchings, (a former Cadet Corps Leader and now a permanent member of staff at 44 Support Squadron) who acted as our tour guide. Starting at the West entrance, we passed highly maintained recreation areas and officer cadet accommodation, before arriving at the statue of Prince Louis-Napoleon, who was killed in action with the Zulus in 1879.


Sandhurst, & statue of Prince Louis-Napoleon.

We moved across the parade square and visited the New College. We then visited the Royal Memorial Chapel, where we spoke with Assistant Chaplain Revd Luiz Marques Da Conceicao CF. The historic Old College was our next stop. Built in 1799, this was the pinnacle of our guided tour. We visited the Marlborough Room, Le Marchant Room, International Room and The Indian Memorial Room. These areas we filled with Royal paintings, stained glass, regimental silver and historical artefacts. Finally, we visited the RMAS Museum, containing uniforms, head gear and information boards telling the story of the Military Academy from the early 1800s to now.


Cadets & adults on the steps of Old College.

Now back at CTC Frimley Park, Major Angus began the evening with an open discussion about the Cadet Portal and the new Army Cadet Syllabus (ACS). We then received a presentation from soldiers of the Royal Gurkha Rifles. They gave us a history of their regiment, an overview of the Gurkha selection process and finished by performing their traditional Khukuri (or Kukri – a curved knife, the Gurkha’s traditional weapon) routine. The cadets then had a chance to ask additional questions and hold the Khukuris.

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The Gurkhas perform their Kukri routine.

The final part of the evening was led by Sgt Mike Ford from the Royal Logistics Corps. The cadets took part in command tasks in which a cadet was blindfolded and had to be guided, via radio, through the ‘minefield’ area they had created on the grass. The command tasks allowed the cadets to work on their communication and leadership whilst working as part of a team. Our cadets were lucky enough to receive some RLC ‘goodies’ to bring home with them also.


Cdt Cpl Chopra during the command tasks.

Cdt Cpl Chopra from Chesterton Detachment said: ‘The RLC workshop was really good, I liked the communication and problem solving.’


Errol Hutchings speaks at the Old College.

The following day, we had the privilege to be invited to observe the RMAS Commandant’s Parade. The parade is a full dress rehearsal 2 days before the Sovereign’s Parade (the officer cadet’s passing out parade). We were welcomed by the academy Regimental Sergeant Major WO1 Colin Kirkwood, who presented Cadet Sgt Parker (Longstanton) with his Combat Cadet badge – an honour for Sgt Parker and Cambs ACF. The Commandant of Sandhurst, Major General Duncan Capps, also stopped to welcome us.


Our group with the Old College behind.

The parade itself was a spectacular experience, involving hundreds of officer candidates displaying impeccable drill. Major General Capps spoke to the new officers about the qualities of leadership that they must master, and their responsibilities in representing the Army and their Country. Medals and swords were presented to the best officers.


The Commandant's Parade.

The Sandhurst trip was an unforgettable experience and a privilege for both the cadets and CFAVs who attended. The entire experience echoed “Inspire to Achieve”.


The Commandant's Parade.

Deputy Commandant of Sandhurst, Colonel McLean, said ‘its important to bring the Army Cadet Force (to Sandhurst) because it gives them a flavour of what Sandhurst is, it imbues them with that spirit, there’s so much history here……they can learn about what leadership means. Even if they don’t come here, (to train as officers) and go into civilian life, they will always have something to remember from having been to Sandhurst.’

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Deputy Commandant of Sandhurst, Colonel Mclean.

Cdt Sgt Parker said: ‘its been really good, a real privilege to come to the place where leaders are made, and seeing all the history.


LCpl Bradley White, SSI Marc White, Capt Matthews.

This experience wouldn’t have been possible without the many weeks of planning and preparation put in by LCpl Bradley White of The Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. A former 2 Company cadet now based at 44 Support Squadron RMAS, LCpl White orchestrated the event in collaboration with SSI Marc White, who conceived the idea based on inspiring the cadets to achieve not just as cadets, but in their personal and academic careers also. With special thanks to Errol Hutchings, Captain Mathews and all the staff at CTC Frimley Park, the Royal Gurkha Rifles, Sgt Ford and his team at the RCL Engagement Team, WO1 Colin Kirkwood and our own Cambs ACF CFAVs for their time and dedication to making the trip a reality. We have memories to cherish. We hope to return soon.

Text by SI Emily White with SI Doug Stuart

Photos by SI Doug Stuart