June 10th 2014


More than 40 Cadets and 15 adult volunteers from Nottinghamshire Army Cadet Force (ACF) and Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Rutland (LNR) ACF marked the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War by visiting a number of former battlefields in France and Belgium.

Nottinghamshire’s Cadets, who took part in the event were from the county’s ACF Corps of Drums, and played a variety of instruments at memorial sites throughout the visit.

LNR’s Cadets attending the event were also from the Corps of Drums and had been rehearsing the ACF music syllabus over a number of months to prepare for this occasion.

Cadets from Nottinghamshire ACF, LNR ACF and other ACF detachments across the country, who were also taking part in the visit, came together to rehearse their performances on Saturday 28 June at the Cadet Training Centre on Swiney Way, Toton, Nottingham. 

Before departing for Europe, Colonel Phil Watson, Commandant at LNR ACF, said: “LNR’s Corps of Drums will accompany Nottinghamshire ACF for this unique opportunity to not only draw the five different Drum Detachments together in LNR but to work with other counties and launch Op REFLECT (the ACFs Commemorations of the 100th Anniversary of WW1) in style.

“As the newly appointed Commandant I wanted to draw our Drum Detachments, which are spread across Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Rutland, together and enable them to perform as a single band for the first time since Cadet 150.  There can be a no more iconic place than to play in Ypres, the Cloth Hall and march to the Menin Gate during this anniversary year. It is an experience our Cadets will remember for the rest of their lives!”

Major Steve Greaves from Nottinghamshire ACF said: “This visit is really significant as it allows each of us to reflect on times past, as well as giving Cadets the opportunity to learn more about the First World War. There will be around 100 people taking part in the event in total – this will include Cadets, adult volunteers and other guests.

“The Cadet musicians will be playing at the Menin Gate ‘Memorial to the Missing’ war memorial in Ypres, Belgium, something everyone is going to remember for a long time.”

Cadet Sergeant Major Lucy Hoyes, aged 17, from Nottinghamshire ACF’s Ruddington Detachment, said: “’I am really looking forward to taking part in the battlefield tour of France and Belgium. This is something I and other musicians from Nottinghamshire ACF have been rehearsing for over a number of months and can’t wait to play our instruments in a variety of locations during the trip.”

Nottinghamshire ACF has previously organised visits to France and Belgium, but this year’s event has been planned to tie in with local centenary events.

Please click here to view more images from the trip