CCF at RGS High Wycombe
‘…some have made the greatest sacrifice of all. They felt that their country called them, and they did not hesitate to answer the call. And while we deeply mourn their loss, the School will always keep their memory green, and when happier times come back again, the example of their self-sacrifice will still remain for all the succeeding generations who will receive their education within these walls.'
Mr G.W. Arnison, RGS Headmaster, 1915
RGS has a long history of association with the armed forces, dating back to 1909 when the School’s Officers’ Training Corps (OTC) was founded. Today, around 180 boys participate in the Combined Cadet Force (CCF), with Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force sections. We are the only state school in Buckinghamshire offering a tri-service CCF.
The CCF educational partnership between schools and the Ministry of Defence enables boys to develop a range of life skills, significantly those of personal responsibility, leadership and self-discipline.
Two of the three sections at RGS are named in memory of highly decorated OW war veterans, Frederick Youens and Ian Fraser, who fought in the First and Second World Wars respectively. They continue to be an inspiration and source of pride. Both were awarded the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award ‘for gallantry in the face of the enemy’ that a serviceman in the British and Commonwealth forces can aspire to attain.
CCF activities and training today
Activities include archery, shooting (including competition shooting) survival skills, urban warfare training, flying at RAF Benson, leadership exercises and participation in national cadet competitions
The CCF parades every Thursday at School and cadets venture off-site for visits, weekend camps, week-long camps and courses.
Every year, the whole school community, including governors, neighbours and friends, gather in the Quad in memory of our OW casualties of war. Over 100 cadets also represent the School in High Wycombe, the largest youth group represented in the local community.
The Royal Navy Section is an integral part of CCF life at RGS. Distance from the sea is no handicap, with our access to the excellent sailing facility at Dinton Activity Centre.
Senior cadets, who stay on voluntarily, provide invaluable assistance to the two officers who run the section. All are supported by visiting officers and an area instructor from the Royal Navy.
Cadets are taught a balanced combination of seamanship skills - sailing and navigation techniques - in conjunction with 'green' soldiering and adventure training. They participate in a wide range of courses funded by the Royal Navy including powerboat training, sailing, scuba diving, leadership, and the Royal Marines Band. A summer camp at HMS Bristol offers experiences such as Fire Fighting, Sea Survival and the Phoenix Damage Repair and Instructional Unit - a mock-up of a flooding ship which rocks and rolls as cadets try to plug gaps in the hull, using blocks of wood and hammers.
Youens Company is the oldest, having been formed in 1948, when the School’s OTC was amalgamated to become the CCF. Youens Company was affiliated to the Royal Green Jackets until February 2007 when this Regiment became part of The Rifles.
The CCF (Army) aims to promote qualities of responsibility, self-reliance, resourcefulness and service to the community. Activities include drill, skill at arms, shooting, fieldcraft and first aid. CCF (Army) cadets are also involved with volunteer community and charitable work and can gain nationally recognised qualifications such as the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme.
Up to 40% of a cadet’s time is spent on adventurous training activities such as the deployment to the Sennybridge Training Area in the Brecon Beacons for 'Ex Sharpe's Attack', a 48 hour field training exercise over 25km of remote and inhospitable terrain ending at Cilieni Village.
In 2017/18 Youens Company entered the prestigious Cadet Cambrian Patrol held in Sennybridge and were Silver Medal winners.
The RAF section is part of the Air Cadet Organization and is committed to aviation-based adventure and service. Cadets are required to be active members of the Service and school community.
From their first weekend and throughout their time, cadets will carry out practical leadership tasks. All RAF cadets can fly at least once a year in a RAF training aircraft, piloted by a qualified flying instructor, and will be given the opportunity to take control of the aircraft. Subsequent flights may include aerobatics.
Visits to RAF stations and a week-long summer camp offer great insight into Service life and future career opportunities. There are also opportunities for senior cadets to win Flying Scholarships.
‘The CCF has been instrumental in giving me the confidence to successfully apply to be an officer in the British Army.’
Oli Sherwood, Army Bursar
‘The CCF has given me the opportunity to lead all the cadets in the Royal Navy Section. It has enabled me to gain organisational and teaching skills and how to deal with people older and younger than me. It has also made me become more independent and resilient with the responsibility that has been bestowed upon me. Finally, the activities, camps and courses have been a lot of fun as well as learning so much in my time during my time at RGS”
Priyam Patel, Head Cadet of RN Section.