Jellalabad Company

A brief look at Jellalabad Company, Somerset Cadet Battalion (The Rifles) ACF

Jellalabad Company - 1842. A battle honour that is unique to the Somerset LI, for the relief of the besieged Afghan town of Jelalabad, now called Jellalabad, and the subsequent defeat of the Afghan army led by Akbar Khan in the First Anglo-Afghan War (1839-1842), also known as Auckland’s Folly. During the campaign the 13th (1st Somersetshire) Regiment (Light Infantry) were forced to retreat from Kabul to the fortified outpost of Jelalabad by a large Afghan army. The siege lasted for five months, during which the 13th withstood many attacks. Finally, when the 13th were down to their last few rounds, the garrison, led by Sir Robert Sale, broke the siege and attacked the Afghans, driving them off the field with a final bayonet charge. Although the war was essentially an English reverse, battle honours and campaign medals were awarded. The conduct of the 13th at Jelalabad was officially rewarded on 26th August 1842 when Prince Albert offered his patronage to the regiment and permitted his name to be used in the title, becoming the 13th (1st Somersetshire) (Prince Albert’s Light Infantry) Regiment of Foot. The badge of a mural crown with a scroll inscribed “Jellalabad” was granted for display on the colours and uniform of the regiment.

Jellalabad Company has its headquarters at Wellington with one full-time member of staff, the CAA (Cadet Administrative Assistant) employed by WRFCA (Wessex Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association) who looks after the day-to-day running of the Company, all its stores, buildings and other assets.

All the remainder of the staff, from the OC (Officer Commanding) down, are all CFAVs (Cadet Force Adult Volunteers) who give a huge amount of their spare time and skills from the civilian world to provide for the cadets. The OC is supported by a CSM (Company Serjeant Major) who looks after discipline and, in some cases, is also the Company Quartermaster. Depending on the manning levels the OC will also have the support of a Training Officer, an Administrative Officer, a Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Officer, a Shooting Officer and a First Aid Officer amongst others, who all report to senior members at county HQ level. In many cases CFAVs may be ‘double-hatted’, performing two or more of these roles in addition to their platoon duties. Each Company also has a Coy PR Rep (Company Public Relations Representative) who looks after platoon and company level Public Relations, reporting to the County PR Officer.

Each platoon (detachment) is commanded by a CFAV who may have a number of fellow CFAVs to support him or her as well as, in some cases, a CA (Civilian Assistant) who looks after the platoon’s administration. Some, although not all platoons, parade twice a week depending on the local circumstances, the demand from cadets and the availability of staff. In a number of platoons the platoon building is also shared with RAF Air Cadets which imposes its own limitations on frequency of use.

J Coy has eight platoons:

Bishop’s Hull

Bridgwater

Cannington

Doniford

Fox’s

Minehead

Priorswood

Wellington

J Coy Facebook closed group. You must be a cadet, the parent/guardian of a cadet, or a CFAV within one of the platoons in the company to join and you must answer the questions posed before being accepted by the administrator.