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Home > News and Events > Minden Dinner for Army Section of CCF

Minden Dinner for Army Section of CCF

28 Mar 24

The Army section of the CCF held their annual Minden Dinner on Wednesday last week, during which cadets enjoyed a superb three course meal prepared by our amazing catering team. The traditional toast was made to the King by one of our junior cadets, Year 9’s Philippa, and speeches by Capt Capjon and our Head of Army, Year 13’s Theo. Below we share Theo’s speech:

Ladies and Gentlemen

Firstly, I would like to thank each and every one of you for joining us tonight for the Army Minden Dinner. I would also like to thank the catering staff who are helping to make such an important night possible. These occasions are very special, and it fills me with joy to see so many familiar faces sat with us tonight.

When I joined the CCF in Year 9, I had the exact same thought that I know many Year 9’s share at the moment – how much drill can one really do?

To some, it might just be walking around in circles for hours, but to others it is an opportunity to learn new things. It was this that led me to stay with the army section, right through to where I am now. When I first joined, I could have never imagined myself in the position I am at now, and that is what makes me honoured to lead such a fun, hard-working and dedicated section. I am proud to say that I lead the CCF’s Army section, and I hope you are all as equally proud to be a part of it.

There are many things that I have learnt during my time in the CCF, many of which I know a lot of the basics are still learning themselves, such as the importance of bringing your beret, or polishing your boots. But It’s not only Friday afternoons where we learn things in the CCF. Take overnight for example, here I learnt the importance of a sleeping bag, when I got woken up at 3.00am by the pouring rain, to find a friend climbing into his rucksack, because he’d spent more time getting his snacks than he did getting a sleeping bag! I believe everyone has learnt something from an overnight; these are all experiences that we laugh at, and certainly won’t forget. For example, I’ll never forget the first time I shot live rounds on a range. The rush of adrenaline, and feeling of shock is something that you’ll find from doing the activities we do. Never in a million years did I think I’d be crawling around bushes with the sound of fighter jets above me, covered in brown and green paint. What we do really is like something out of a movie, and I know full well that this is why so many of us enjoy it so much.

It is to no-one’s surprise that behind the scenes, so much work is put in towards planning and organising the CCF. I would like to express my gratitude and thankyous to Major Garvie and WO1 Stollery. Without them, we would all probably be doing lessons on a Friday afternoon. It is thanks to you, that we are able to do these incredible activities, and have these experiences which I know have inspired some cadets to look closer at the military in the future.

I would also like to thank the teachers who give up their Friday afternoons to be a part of our section. You all make such a difference to the lessons and help teach topics that I know other teachers wouldn’t be able to understand.

And last but not least, I would like to thank all the NCOs that help run the section with me on a Friday afternoon, both Year 13 and Year 12. You all work so hard to teach those things that you were once taught yourselves in Year 9. Thank you to everyone that has shown interest in the army section and those who have stayed with it.

For many of us, being a part of the CCF means a lot more than just a Seckford Scheme activity on a Friday afternoon. There are so many things that I have done thanks to the CCF and would not have been able to do anywhere else. Firing rifles, storming buildings, sleeping under bashas the list goes on. This section proves that we are able to put these skills to use, where the Combat Cadet squad did very well at the competition last weekend. We are a determined section, and even though the basics do seem to get shorter each year, I do believe that the army section will continue to share the same values and ethos as our affiliated regiment, the Royal Anglians.

To close, it is my privilege to give a toast to the Royal Anglians – without a doubt the finest regular and reserve infantry soldiers in the British Army. In the time I have been in Woodbridge School’s CCF, the Royal Anglians have been busy on operations around the world in Afghanistan, South Sudan, Mali, and even today the second battalion are deployed to Poland as part of the largest NATO exercise since World War Two. Alongside this global outlook comes a family ethos, with deep connections to the local community and a classic approach, based on mutual respect and trust, where developing and believing in their soldiers is paramount. I do believe that this mix of global reach and impact, with a local, nurturing ethos is the incredibly similar to what we have enjoyed here at Woodbridge. I am very proud to wear the Royal Anglian cap badge, and I know you all are as well.

So, without further ado, I ask you all to be upstanding for a toast to the Royal Anglian regiment.
“The Royal Anglian Regiment”

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