The official launch of our CCF Unit took place this week. The first cadre of Cadets paraded and took part in training exercises under the close scrutiny of Lt Col Jason Durup,Commanding Officer of the City of London Royal Marines Reserves – all passed with flying colours!
In his address, Lt Col Durup revealed that it was his first full day in post! He said it was a great honour and privilege to open the unit and welcomed the cadets into the Royal Marine family. Through the youth training programme cadets would develop many qualities that would serve them well in whatever they chose to do in life: teamwork, leadership, resilience and commitment. He gave the cadets some words of advice: “treat others as you would wish to be treated, always do the right thing, always behave with integrity and humility, never stop listening and learning and always, always be infectiously inclusive.” Lt Col Durup thanked everyone who had helped get the unit off the ground. He said that the day had been a great success and was certain the unit would continue to enjoy success in the future.
Invited guests included The Mayor of Greenwich, Cllr Christine May, Master of the Stationers’ Company David Allan, Past Masters Helen Esmonde and Kevin Dewey, Mr Hugh Player from Greenwich Hospital, Chair of Governors & Stationer, Sue Pandit, members of the Stationers’ Company, parents/carers and grandparents of cadets.
David Millar thanked Lt Col Durup and invited guests for attending. He said that Stationers’ Crown Woods Academy were very proud to be only the third Royal Marine unit in London. It had only been made possible by sponsorship from the Stationers’ Company and Greenwich Hospital. The CCF unit was open to all students from Year 10 upwards; “the cadets did themselves proud today and would be a source of inspiration and pride for the Academy in the future.” He said.
We are very proud at Stationers’ Crown Woods Academy that we have been able to open a Royal Marines contingent of the Combined Cadet Force (CCF). This venture has only been made possible through the generous sponsorship of The Stationers’ Company and Greenwich Hospital. Members have worked tirelessly on this project to bring it to fruition.
Speaking on behalf of the Stationers’ Company, Past Master, Helen Esmonde said: “The Stationers’ Company have a long and proud association with the Royal Marines. For this reason, there was a strong and natural wish to set up a Royal Marine CCF at the Academy. We hope this will become a source of inspiration for the students for many years to come. This has been made possible by support from the Corps of the Royal Marines, Greenwich Hospital, Leigh Academy Trust and Stationers’ Crown Woods Academy.”
”Greenwich Hospital is the largest and oldest Royal Navy charity, with long historic traditions and links in the Royal Borough of Greenwich. We are very excited to be working with the Stationers’ Company, the Corps of Royal Marines, and Stationers’ Crown Woods Academy in supporting the initiative to establish a Royal Marines Combined Cadet Force detachment. We believe this project will bring a whole new dimension to the Academy, to its life and its students. Above all, we believe that it will greatly enhance the lives of all who earn their place in the Detachment.” Hugh Player, CEO, Greenwich Hospital
Stationers’ Crown Woods Academy are now one of only 21 schools in the whole of the United Kingdom to have a Royal Marines cadet contingent
The CCF is a uniformed organisation, badged and affiliated to the Royal Marines and sponsored by the Ministry of Defence, in a join initiative between the MOD and DFE. Students who join the CCF will wear the uniform of the Royal Marines.
The annual programme of training includes weekly training afternoons, one weekend away each term, an adventure training camp and an annual camp each July at the Commando Training Centre in Devon. All uniform and equipment (with the exception of boots) is provided free of charge and the majority of activities are either free or heavily subsidised by the MOD. Training includes field craft (learning the art of outdoor living and survival), military skills, weapon handling and shooting, fitness, navigation, first aid, drill and turnout, training afloat on a variety of boats and adventure training activities (climbing, mountaineering, camping, etc)
The aim of the CCF is to provide a disciplined organisation within a school so that young people may develop powers of leadership by means of training, in order to promote the qualities of responsibility, self-reliance, resourcefulness, team work, endurance, perseverance and a sense of service to the community.
Training takes place every Thursday from 3pm – 5pm. Membership of the CCF is open to all members of the Academy community currently in years 10, 11 and 12. Training is delivered by adults from within the Academy who have joined the CCF and by members of the Royal Marines Youth Training Team.
Students who are interested in finding out more about the CCF in SCWA please speak to Mr Wilson in Arden. He can give you more information, a joining form and a uniform measurements form. As a new member of the CCF you may already be a member of the ACF, ATC or SCC, in which case you could be selected to join the leadership cadre and become one of the contingent’s junior NCOs.
For further details about the CCF, take a look at the national CCF website
Please click here to read the Joining Letter
Please click here for Enrolment Form
The SCWA CCF unit travelled to Devon over the weekend of Friday 6th-Sunday 8th October for the Sir Steuart Pringle Trophy, which is a competition between the Royal Marines detachments of each Combined Cadet Force unit. The competition took place at Commando Training Centre Royal Marines and the nearby Woodbury Common.
Cadets competed in nine events or ‘stances’, which tested a variety of skills from drill to conducting section attacks in the battlefield. As the cadets hadn’t done some of the events before, they were used as training rather than competition and therefore didn’t receive a score like most of the other schools.
Friday night started off with a motivational speech from none other than Bear Grylls, who is an honorary Lieutenant Colonel in the Royal Marines, and decorated ex-member of the SAS, Phil Campion.
Saturday morning saw an early start in the pouring rain on Woodbury Common, before a traditional Royal Marine lunch of a military ration pack. Saturday afternoon was spent on base doing the activities the cadets hadn’t done in the morning. SCWA competed and scored in the following events:
Command task 1 – a challenge to disassemble a ‘cannon’, then scramble through a hole in the undergrowth, cross a river and reassemble the cannon as quickly as possible.
Observation – cadets were given a route to follow through the trees and had to spot as many military items as possible along the route – not as easy as it may sound!
Map reading – a table top exercise using an Ordnance Survey map of the local area.
Drill – an inspection followed by a sequence of movements on the parade square such as turns, salutes and marching.
Command task 2 – a challenge to manoeuvre a pyramid of tyres from one pole to another without any bigger pieces being put on smaller ones.
Despite the unit having only been officially open for three weeks, the cadets scored incredibly well in the observation stance, coming 12th out of 20 teams.
Sunday morning saw the cadets run the famous Commando endurance course. All Royal Marine recruits run the endurance course as part of their Commando tests, with the addition of a four mile run back to camp. The cadets were lucky, they were transported to and from the course by minibus!
The endurance course consists of a 2 mile cross country run across rough moorland terrain including several hills, tunnels and wading pools of various depths as well as the ‘Sheep Dip’ where cadets must work as a team of three to push and pull each other through a 2 metre wide tunnel fully submerged in cold, dirty, foul smelling water.
The endurance course tests the cadets’ strength both physically and mentally, and embodies the Commando spirit of courage, determination, unselfishness and cheerfulness in the face of adversity (some cadets may disagree that there was anything to be cheerful about apart from the minibus ride back to camp!). Most cadets will never have done anything like it before (and some may never want to do it again!)
Once back to camp and the cadets had warmed up with a shower and a change of clothes, the winners of the competition were announced. As SCWA had not competed in some of the stances it was not possible for us to win. However, that didn’t stop Commandant Royal Marines making special mention of SCWA for our determination in attending the competition despite being unprepared. The vast majority of the other schools competing were boarding schools with long-established Royal Marine units, so they have probably been preparing since at least the 2017 competition for this year’s!
Well done to all the cadets for taking part. For most, if not all, this was their first experience of life on a military base. What they lacked in knowledge they more than made up for in enthusiasm.