One week after the end of term a platoon of Cranleigh’s finest attended 11 Brigade CCF Central Camp in East Sussex. Over the first three days of camp the Cadet Training Team provided an excellent, highly varied training package covering survival skills, watermanship, command tasks, first aid, camouflage, foreign weapon systems, a full-scale platoon attack and an ambush. We also had a day on a variety of ranges with the GP A2 rifle, laser quest, archery and the new Scorpion air rifle system. The quality of instruction was particularly high this year and our cadets responded well, receiving much praise for their enthusiasm and energy, despite the high temperatures and “end of term fatigue”.
A day was then spent on an inter-contingent competition, in which we put in a determined performance on the march and shoot, acquitted ourselves with honour on the assault course and gained prizes in the command task, orienteering and, wonder of wonders, drill. The latter was in no small part due to the effort put into practising the drill squad by CQMS Coates – one of the five U6th leavers who joined us for a last hurrah.
Camp concluded with our own twenty four hour exercise, set during Operation Overlord, 1944, with a conveniently situated Bailey bridge standing in for Pegasus Bridge in our final, deliberate attack early on Saturday morning. Everyone made it through to the end in fine style, even if at times they wondered if this was not going to be a “Bridge too far” – momentum was maintained, even during the inevitable post exercise “admin”.
This was a highly successful camp in which the enthusiasm and determination of the juniors, the experience of the seniors and the willingness of the staff allowed everyone to learn and develop. It was particularly satisfying to be able to step back and allow the senior cadets to run things themselves wherever possible.
Major Simon Young
OC, Cranleigh School CCF