Dorset Army Cadet Force (ACF) is part of a national youth organisation aimed at inspiring young people to achieve both physically and mentally whilst developing self-confidence, teamwork and leadership.
Cadets have the opportunity to take part is numerous activities, including First Aid training (which leads to a nationally recognised award), DofE (The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award), BTEC Certificate in Public Services (equivalent to 4 GCSE A* grades), not to mention the military skills and adventurous training.
Dorset ACF has 22 detachments, including 3 in The Channel Islands, over 550 cadets, 125 Adult Volunteers and 8 members of permanent staff.
The detachments are split between 5 Companies, namely A, B, C, D and Channel Islands. Who are sponsored by Regular Army units. These include The Rifles, Royal Logistics Corps, The Royal Armoured Corps and The Royal Corps of Signals.
The County Headquarters and Weekend Training Centre are based in the County Town of Dorchester. Weekend training also takes place at both Blandford (Royal Signals) camp and Bovington (Royal Armoured Corps) training areas.
Companies within Dorset ACF:
A Company has 5 Detachments in the west side of Dorset, their Battle Honour is Marabout
The Battle of Marabout
The "Marabout" Battle Honour is borne by the Dorsetshire Regt, and commemorates the service of the 54th Regiment in the operations outside of Alexandria in the summer of 1801.
The old 54th had been entrusted with the task of keeping watch and ward over the French Garrison in Fort Marabout, and it was their successful capture of the redoubt at the tomb of a Moslem Saint which brought home to General Menou the futility of further resistance. He hoisted the white flag, when he and his army were permitted a safe conduct to France. On giving an undertaking that they would not serve against England during the continuance of the war.
B Company has 4 Detachments in the north side of Dorset, their Battle Honour is Plassey
The Battle of Plassey
The Battle of Plassey was a decisive victory of the British East India Company over the Nawab of Bengal and his French allies on 23rd June 1757.
General Clive was in command of the British Force including about 300 members of the 39th Foot and he immediately took the offensive against the Surajah Dowlah and Nawab of Bengal, successfully capturing Calcutta, Chandernagore and Cutwa. Clive had only 3,000 men and 15 light guns against Nawab's army of over 60,000 infantry, cavalry, 50 heavy guns and some lighter ones. The formidable enemy force was completely defeated by the small British Force, who captured the whole of the enemy's camp, baggage, guns and stores. This victory constituted one of the most complete and overwhelming achievements in military history.
C Company has 5 Detachments in the south side of Dorset, their Battle Honour is Somme
The Battle of the Somme
The Battle of the Somme was one of the largest battles that occurred during World War 1. It took place near the Somme River in France and lasted from July 1 to November 18 1916.
The battle was fought between the Allies (British and French) on one side and the German Empire on the other. The British was led by Commander-in-chief Sir Douglas Haig, on the 1st of July 1916 the attack was ordered and thousands of British soldiers advanced from their trenches towards the German lines. Despite the heavy casualties the allies continue to attack and on November the 18 they had gained around seven miles of territory. The Battle of the Somme was one of the bloodiest battles in human history.
D Company has 5 Detachments in the East of Dorset, their Battle Honour is Kohima
The Battle of Kohima
The twin Second World War clashes of Imphal and Kohima have been named as the greatest ever battle involving British forces.
Early in 1944 the Japanese 15th Army commanded by General Renya Mutagushi launched a pre-emptive strike across the Chindwin River. It’s primary aim and purpose was to encircle and destroy the British IV Corps at Imphal to prevent the launch of a British & Indian attack across the border to retake Burma. The British of course knew that the Japanese were heading towards Kohima but they didn’t fully appreciate the numbers and the speed of approach. The Japanese 31st Division comprised about 15,500 men!!
On 12 Apr 44, 1st battalion Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders, with artillery and tank support, attacked and destroyed the Japanese position near the thirty-seventh milestone. 2nd Division’s operations to relieve 161st Brigade and the Kohima Garrison went on rapidly and on Tuesday 18th April 1944, the small garrison was relieved and the siege lifted. The Japanese advance had been checked. The invasion of India had been halted. From the time orders were received at Belgaum more than 2,000 miles away the British 2nd Division had taken only thirty one days to collect, organize and transport itself to engage with the enemy and to begin to push it back.
The immediate future, however, was forbidding, for the Japanese still held most of the Kohima Ridge, and their positions, dug deep into commanding hillsides with interlocking support, were very strong. The fighting went on for a further 7 weeks before the Japanese were finally forced to withdraw from the field. The leading elements of the relieving column from the British and Indian army heading towards Imphal met the advance column of IV Corps at milestone 109 on the 22nd June. The Battle for Kohima was over!
The Channel Islands have 3 Detachments
Jersey Royal Militia - Le Quesne and Grainville Detachments