St Edmund's

School News

CCF Field Day

On Friday morning, a large group of M5th cadets with two NCOs, Luke Robinson and Betsy Thorne, gathered by the CCF hut, ready to depart. After an hour’s trip by minibus, we arrived at the training area. Split into two groups, one for the overnight stay and one just for the day, we were briefed on our first exercise; a stalk. Lt Lea stood in the middle of a field holding up a letter. We split into groups and were led into the forest, from where we had to move close enough to the letters without being seen. A very dynamic activity, involving running, crawling, hiding, and thorough communication.

The next activity would prove vital to our overnight stay; we had to construct our shelters using basha sheets. Out of two designs, the A-frame proved most popular. Finding a suitable area of ground and then tying the poncho to the surrounding trees took a surprising amount of effort, by the end of which we were all ready for lunch.

After eating our school packed lunches, we were led onto a large field to do fieldcraft. Lining up in our three groups, we practiced different formations and learned various hand signals. The next activity was paintball. Working in pairs, we were taken through the woods, moving tactically and shooting at various targets. Once everyone had finished, we were taken back to the Sergeant Major French to receive our rations as well as our sleeping and cooking equipment.

Dinner was cooked on gas stoves, and once the surprisingly delicious rations had been consumed, we set off for the final two activities of the day. As the sun set, we practiced setting up an ambush behind a tree line. Working in four groups, we were instructed on how to set up and eventually retreat from such an ambush. After regrouping, we moved on to the night stalk. A lantern was placed in the middle of an open field. The goal was to cross the adjacent field, make it to the lantern, and turn it off without the staff noticing. Almost everyone completed the task. Special mention goes to Bobby Halling, who spent a full half hour in the field without being found. Going straight to bed after the night stalk, everyone fell asleep within minutes.

Despite being rained on continuously from midnight onwards, we were well rested by the morning. After a quick breakfast, bashas were put away and rucksacks packed. After some final attack formation practice in the woods, we loaded up the van and piled into the minibuses. The drive home passed quickly, arriving slightly earlier than planned. Thanks go to Sergeant Major French, Major Hawkins, Lt Lea, Mr Jones and 2Lt Anderson for organising the trip and leading the activities.

Report by Noam Brand