The Clwyd and Gwynedd Army Cadet Force Corps of Drums made a triumphant return to active service on Remembrance Sunday, marking the end of a challenging hiatus enforced by Covid restrictions and the aging out of senior cadets. The corps, having faced a dwindling number of members, embarked on a rebuilding process with renewed enthusiasm.
The journey began with regular training sessions held at various locations across North Wales, attracting both seasoned and novice cadets eager to take on the challenge of cadet music. The cadets, many of whom were new to the discipline, steadily honed their skills and expanded their repertoire, setting the stage for their collective performance.
Summer camp in Swynnerton provided a pivotal moment for the corps, allowing new and old members to take their first steps in collective performance. The highlight was a Drum Head Service and the ceremonial march of a retiring Cadet Executive Officer with 60 years in uniform.
A week-long music camp at Kinmel Park Camp became the culmination of their efforts. Despite changes in national music camp locations, the satellite camp proved highly successful, offering intense training and camaraderie. Cadets, now adept with drums, flutes, and bugles, donned their ceremonial scarlet uniforms.
The Corps of Drums made their grand return on Remembrance Sunday in Penygroes after three years. Music Officer Rob Morris expressed his delight at witnessing the corps performing once again across North Wales.
Members of the corps shared their thoughts on the experience. Matteo Franco highlighted the community spirit in Penygroes that made the parade memorable despite challenging weather conditions. Ellen Jones expressed gratitude for the support received and considered marching on a remembrance parade with the Corps of Drums one of her greatest achievements.
Oscar Ellis, participating in his first remembrance parade in ceremonials, described it as a great time despite the weather challenges. Annie Williams shared how the experience showcased the team's progress, demonstrating their collective effort in music and presentation. Morgan Mace, also on his first COD parade in ceremonials, expressed his joy at playing for Penygroes, marking it as his best cadet experience yet.
The return of the Corps of Drums not only symbolized resilience but also reflected the passion and dedication of these cadets, fostering a sense of pride and accomplishment within the community.