Commodore Jamie Miller, CBE, Royal Navy inspecting the honour guard at Colston's CCF biennial inspection
The CCF biennial inspection took place on Wednesday 18th October at school and at a training area, Emborough Quarry, south of Bristol. The reviewing officer was Commodore Jamie Miller, CBE, Royal Navy. Commodore Miller is the Naval Regional Officer for Wales and Western England. He has had a distinguishedd and eventful career having spent the majority of his time at sea, mostly in operational theatres. (View Commodore Miller's CV) He proved to be a very popular reviewing officer, showing great interest in all the cadets, the officers and the supporting staff.
The day started at the school with an honour guard of nine cadets from the RAF Section headed by Flt Sgt Peter Clark. The Commodore was then asked to inspect the RAF Section with over 80 cadets on parade, whilst the Royal Naval ensign was hoisted on the parade flag pole to honour his visit.
After coffee with the headmaster, Commodore Miller toured the school grounds visiting the new CCF Headquarters and various stands laid out by the RAF Section.
At 1130 two Lynx helicopters, one from from 702 Squadron flown by Lt Simon Collins and the other from 847 Squadron flown by Lt Billy Williams, arrived at the school to fly the Commodore, the headmaster, Major Tim Scarll the Officer Commanding, Major Steve Proctor SO3 G3 Cadets and four senior cadets (Gemma Rowlands, Stacey Jo Webster, Charlotte Mardle and Kathleen McClean) to the second phase of the inspection at Emborough Quarry near Shepton Mallet. 170 cadets from the Army and Navy sections from years 9 to U6 were at the quarry taking part in in a wide range of activities such as abseilling, kayaking, sailing, cooking, air rifle shooting, camouflage and concealment exercises, basha building, command tasks and an ambush demonstration.
During the time there the Commodore visited all the stands talking to cadets and instructors whilst the two helicopters took cadets on familiarisation flights around the area. Before departing the Commodore presented Major Tim Scarll BEM with his Cadet Forces Medal for 12 years service to the Cadet movement. Cadets then presented Commodore Miller and the pilots and crew with CCF fleeces and a book of the history of Colston's. The inspection finished with the VIPs and senior cadets being flown back to the school where they were greeted by pupils from the Nursery and Lower Schools.
A debrief was held in the headmaster's study followed by an evening function held in the Old Colstonians' clubhouse where the Commodore met all the CCF officers and senior cadets and supporting staff.
At the same time Colour Sergeant Gemma Rowland was receiving her Lord Lieutenant's Certificate as Lord Lieutenant Cadet for 2006/7 from the Lord Lieutenant J Titmarsh MBE at a ceremony held at Merchants' Hall. Gemma was accompanied by her mother and sister at the presentation. She then joined the CCF function later in the evening.
The day was a huge success, and this was made possible by the support from 43 Wessex Brigade, helicopter support, 19 Cadet Training Team and CAA WO1 Luker, staff from Downside School and Clifton College and Mike Hill canoeing instructor. A special thanks to Mr Blackford, owner of Emborough Quarry, for allowing us full use of his facilities. The Officer Commanding would like to thank the headmaster, the officers, his SSI WO2 Syd Sinar and all cadets for the outstanding support they gave to make the day so successful.
Colston's has a strong link with the Royal Navy as Colston's CCF is affiliated to HMS Cornwall. The ship was launched on 14th October 1985 is the first of four Type 22 Batch 3s and was commissioned in Falmouth, Cornwall on the 23rd April 1988 by the ship's sponsor, the late Diana, Princess of Wales. Initially developed as an Anti-Submarine escort she has significantly extended her roles within the Fleet and is now a highly capable ship and can be utilised as a Command and Control platform for Flag staff as well as being a highly capable offensive and defensive escort.
More information about HMS Cornwall can be found on the following website HMS Cornwall