the summer holidays, three CCF cadets from Oundle School, Felix Terrell (17),
Jamie Hembury-Gunn (16) and Clovis Parker-Jervis (16) took part in Exercise SCOTWEST, sailing some of the most beautiful waters around the British Isles
whilst gaining their RYA Day Skipper qualification.
from Faslane Naval Base, one of the most secure locations in Britain, the first
morning started with a full cooked breakfast in the officers’ mess followed by
a training session on their yacht HMASTC Gawaine.
commented, “As we left Faslane and sailed
down the Gare Loch we passed close to a moored nuclear submarine before being
overtaken by HMS AMBUSH, the Royal Navy’s latest nuclear attack submarine. With
mostly blue skies and the wind behind us, I was starting to get a sense of what
the week might entail. After a look at the charts, and some navigation round
what I now know are channel markers, we turned north up Loch Long, munching
some well-cooked blueberry muffins, before anchoring for the night by a castle.”
a swim before breakfast, a tradition that continued without fail every morning,
the cadets got to grips with all the unfamiliar names of ropes, fittings and
commands on board, started to take bearings and three point fixes, and talked
added, “The third day under sail was the
roughest we had all week. It was a long slog down the Eastern side of Arran
from Tarbert, where we had stocked up supplies (and showered). This gusty broad
reach was Clovis’s allotted time to bake his cake for the on-board competition
- needless to say cooking in a kitchen that shifts fifty degrees was a
the morning of the fourth day the morning swim was extended to include a swim
up the gently shelving shore to Arran. The purpose? The group was short of that
vital ingredient for a good cup of tea: milk. They then sailed round to the
next bay and did a series of man overboard exercises, with a strong emphasis
upon not sailing over anyone, made more difficult by the fact they were doing
this without use of the donk – the engine.
concluded, “Friday was considerably
soggier than the blue skies we had become used to, so we put on our foul
weather jackets and did ‘bumps and grinds’ (parking) in Portavadie Marina,
followed by a night sail up Loch Fyne. This was one of my highlights of the
trip; gliding through the silver water, with no noise but the wake and the
steep forested hills on either side.
penultimate day we saw around twenty sun bathing seals as we sailed around the
northern side of Bute. Finally, on the last day we re-vised all our navigation
and sailing work, took our test and sailed back up the Firth of Clyde back to
trip was amazing – simultaneously relaxing, informative and dramatic. I hope to
get back up to Scotland this winter and continue sailing when it’s summer
of Oundle’s CCF and skipper for this trip, Major Andrew Mansergh Royal Marines,
commented, “Ex Scotwest was a tremendous opportunity for three cadets from
Oundle CCF to sail some of the most beautiful waters around the British Isles
and to gain their RYA Day Skipper qualification. We were very lucky with
the weather and had a wonderful trip. I look forward to running a similar
exercise again next year.”
Oundle’s Combined Cadet Force (CCF)
Contingent Commander: Major A.C.
Mansergh Royal Marines
Cadet Force is the largest single organisation in the School; numbering 460
cadets out of an eligible pool of 820 pupils. Eighteen members of staff provide
a varied and exciting training programme every Wednesday afternoon during the
term. Additional staff assist during the field weekends and holiday periods.
Success and recognition is achieved at national levels; in both 2010 and 2011 a
senior cadet was the runner up in The Duke of Westminster Award. Drawn from the
country’s best 200 cadets this annual competition is run to find the top
cadets. Oundle has produced three finalists in the last four years.
CCF comprises of three sections: the Army Section, the Royal Navy Section and
the RAF section, and is compulsory for all pupils for one year only (in the
Fourth Form or Year 10). All three sections have a common core of Drill,
Turnout and Skill at Arms. The RN Section then specialises in rowing, sailing
and power boating, the Army Section in infantry skills and tactics, and the RAF
Section in flight training. At the end of their Fourth Form year cadets may
leave or decide to stay in the CCF. For
those who wish to continue their cadet careers the options include remaining in
the Single Service Sections, undertaking NCO Cadre training, or joining one of
the specialist training sections: Fire and Rescue (the unit trains on its own
fire engine), Adventure Training, and Diving.
takes place every Wednesday afternoon with two field weekends, one in September
and one in April. In addition, every cadet will undertake at least one camp
during School holidays. These camps include skiing in the Alps, diving in the
Red Sea, climbing in the Alps and Scottish Highlands, as well as military camps
organised by the RAF and Army.
Oundle School Corps dates back to 1902, as the 'Rifle Corps' 1st (Volunteer)
Battalion the Northamptonshire Regiment. Since 1958, the Cadet Corps at Oundle
has continuously maintained all three Service sections (Royal Navy, Army and
Royal Air Force). Cadets are able to attend the many national camps and courses
available to them, some of which are aimed towards gaining qualifications (e.g.
power-boating and first aid) whilst others are aimed at developing leadership
and teamwork skills.