June 26th 2015

Local Cadets to take part in Battlefield tour

55 Cadets and 20 Cadet Force Adult Volunteers from Nottinghamshire Army Cadet Force (ACF) and Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Rutland (LNR) ACF are set to take part in a World War One battlefield tour in France and Belgium.

The 6 day programme, which has been organised by Nottinghamshire ACF, will see the joint Nottinghamshire and LNR ACF Corps of Drums performing at Menin Gate in Ypres as well as the full group visiting numerous World War One memorials and sites.

Bugle Major Russ Jones, an adult volunteer with Nottinghamshire ACF is attending the event. He said: “I have been involved with taking Cadets to France, Belgium and the World War One War Graves for eight years. It is a unique experience for the young people we train all year in preparation for this event.  The reception the Cadets receive from the public whilst performing is amazing.

“Each individual cemetery visited is allocated to two Cadets in advance and they have to research the battle and present a talk about it to all at the site. This always proves to be a really educational experience for everyone.  In previous times, many of the Cadets taking part in the visit have found their ancestors which have been a proud and humbling time for them.

“We have a fantastic visit planned which will include us visiting many historical landmarks. Some of the areas we will see include the national historic site of the Battle of Vimy Ridge; Newfoundland Memorial Park a site on the Somme battlefield near to Beaumont Hamel; the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme, The Lochnagar Crater Memorial and Ypres amongst other locations. I know all of the Cadets are really excited about visiting France and Belgium and I know this will be an event they remember for a long time.”

Cadets on battlefield tourAdult Under Officer Jonathon Tunney; the Detachment Commander of A Company’s Corps of Drums from LNR ACF, is also going on  the visit. He said: “Cadets from both Nottinghamshire ACF and LNR ACF are looking forward to visiting the variety of historical locations, and I know all of the musicians have been rehearsing whenever possible ahead of us travelling.

“The ACF offers a wide variety of activities for Cadets to take part in at a detachment level, at weekend training centres, annual camps and visits such as this. As an adult volunteer I am proud to be a part of an organisation that inspires young people to achieve new goals, and provides opportunities that may have not been available for Cadets to take part in otherwise.”

A Number of Cadets taking part in the visit said:

Cadet Lance Corporal Bowcock, from Simpson Detachment in Northampton, said: “I’m looking forward to getting the experience of playing last post in public and playing for all of the soldiers who have died for us.  It’s an experience that I will never forget.”

Cadet Sergeant Keightley, from Kabritt Detachment in Towcester, said:  “I am most looking forward to marching through the Menin Gate whilst playing for those who lost their lives for us today; this is an experience I will treasure for the rest of my life.”

Cadet Corporal Pace, from Anzio Detachment in Northampton, said: “ I’m looking forward to demonstrating what the ACF can do and whilst doing the Cadet Force proud by marching through the Menin Gate remembering those who have fallen in order for us to celebrate and live today”.

Cadet Drum Major McGurk, from Ulverscroft Road Detachment in Leicester, said:” It’s humbling to be able to stand on the spot where people from where I live fought and died on the anniversary of the battle.”

The visit is set to take place from Sunday 28th June to Saturday 4th July.

To find out more about joining the ACF visit

"In previous times, many of the Cadets taking part in the visit have found their ancestors which have been a proud and humbling time for them."