Off to Sandhurst: CCF insight into officer training

A group from the School's Combined Cadet Force enjoyed a valuable insight into the workings of the Royal Military Academy during a visit to Sandhurst.

Fifteen boys, accompanied by Lieutenant Kieron Howe, who is also QE’s Director of Music, were given a tour of the Academy’s extensive grounds. They also enjoyed lunch, a talk on the history of the facility and an opportunity to meet Officer Cadets and Officers.

The visit was hosted by Old Elizabethan Captain Charles Russell (1997-2004), of the Royal Gurkha Rifles, who is currently a platoon commander on the permanent staff at Sandhurst. The day started with an introduction by an academic member of the Academy’s staff, Sebastian Puncher, who talked through the development of the college since its foundation in 1812.

""“The boys walked up the steps into Old College, an experience that Officer Cadets undergo on their first day of training and then not again until the day they pass out,” said Lt. Howe. “We were shown the Indian Army Memorial Room, with its window dedicated to the Gurkha regiment amongst others. We also saw the five-metre-wide painting of the moment when the battle of Waterloo turned in Wellington’s favour, painted by Sir William Allan in 1847.”

""The tour continued with a drive around Chapel Square, followed by lunch at New College amongst the Officer Cadets. The boys then moved on to the Officer’s Mess for coffee and took the opportunity to ask Captain Russell searching questions, before he had to leave to go on exercise. The visit concluded with a drive around the rest of the extensive grounds, taking in a little rugby before setting off back.

“Charlie [Captain Russell] was brilliant with the guys,” said Lt. Howe. “And they have gained a vast amount of knowledge about the workings of the Academy and also a better picture of life in the Army as a whole. It was a really insightful day.”