The St Benedict's CCF Annual Review
The St Benedict's CCF Annual Review was held on Friday, 29th April. The Representative Deputy Lieutenant for the London Borough of Ealing, Mr Richard Kornicki CBE DL, was guest of honour. Berets were presented to Teeling Troop by 2nd Lieutenant Tess Morris-Paterson of 135 (Geographic) Squadron, Royal Engineers, our affiliated unit.
CCFs have a tradition of “Biennial Inspections” at which a senior officer is invited to visit a CCF, inspect the Cadets, and view some of their activities. In recent years, as the CCF world has been modernised and professionalised, this has been complemented by an Annual Assurance Report, an official statistical survey of a Contingent’s success. The AAR system had just got under way when COVID-19 arrived, but was then put on hold, as were Biennial Inspections. In 2019 we had decided to hold an Annual Review – a formal parade including the presentation of berets to those Recruits who had completed their training – which in every other year will also be our Biennial. 2022 marked our first public Annual Review and Contingent photograph since May 2019. Our guest of honour was the Representative Deputy Lieutenant for the London Borough of Ealing, Mr Richard Kornicki CBE DL, an old friend of the Contingent, and Royal Engineers berets were presented to Teeling Troop by 2nd Lieutenant Tess Morris-Paterson of 135 (Geographic) Squadron, Royal Engineers, our affiliated unit.
Our highest award, the Conabor Sword, was presented by Mr Ian Malcolm and Mr Brian Martin, representatives of the Ecobians, the former pupils of Ealing College, who donated the sword in 2015.
Before the parade itself, our 150 guests – parents, siblings, close relatives – endured a presentation from the Contingent Commander, in which he paid tribute to our unstoppable Cadets. He explained that the Contingent had thrived and grown during COVID; in lockdown, the CCF ran virtual sessions every Monday, regularly attended by 95 or more Cadets; when face-to-face training resumed, an extra parade night was added on Fridays at Cardinal Wiseman; and the statistics tell a very positive story:
September 2014 – 33 recruits, strength 72.
September 2015 – 48 recruits, strength 80
September 2016 – 48 recruits, strength 80
September 2017 – 49 recruits, strength 84
September 2018 – 63 recruits, strength 116
September 2019 – 44 recruits, strength 126
November 2020 – 94 recruits, strength 145
September 2021 – 82 recruits, strength 193
Striking visual confirmation of this expansion is provided by the Contingent photographs of 2019 and 2022.
According to Colonel Ian Denison, Colonel Cadets at HQ London District, our CCF is one of his top five units. Where in the top five we stand has not been specified, but we receive requests from other units around the country for advice and assistance. In the past two years, two senior cadets have been awarded Deputy Lieutenant’s awards for committed service (the Head of CCF, SSM Ben Ziprin, and Sgt Emilia McFadzean); two more have won awards from a City Livery Company, the Bricklayers and Tylers (Sgt Amy Vaughan and Sgt Rami Ahmad); and two were selected this Easter to attend the most prestigious course for Army Cadets, Master Cadet at Frimley Park (Sgts Rami Ahmad and Christopher Vaughan both passed). As a Contingent, we run three times as many events as most comparable CCFs; 44 days of activity for Cadets in 2020-2021, and, so far this year, we have run 34 days of activity with another 34 planned by the end of August. Our Corps of Drums will be leading the Ealing Armed Forces Day parade in June, and are in demand for military and Cadet events across London District.
Future plans include the opening of a Royal Air Force section, an overseas adventure training camp, and the recruitment of more teaching staff to the CCF, whilst attempting to improve recruiting and retention of St Benedict’s Year 9 pupils. An aspiration is to extend the CCF Building and, if possible, construct a shooting range.
We hope that all who watched or participated in this parade not only enjoyed the spectacle but appreciated the sense of community and shared endeavour which marks out our CCF as something very special.
Contingent Commander CCF, S. H
Best Shot - Dmr Amelia CHWALINSKA (CW)
Captain Grant Award for best Cardinal Wiseman Cadet - LCpl Matilda CORREIA
CONABOR Sword 2020-2021 - Sgt Mark CATTELL
CONABOR Sword 2021-2022 - Cdt Ana PEREIRA (CW)
Casey Salver for Best Recruit - Cdt Hannah DORMANN
Hove Challenge Cup for Drill & Turnout - Dmr Hannah ADEGBITE (CW)
Fieldcraft - Cdt Henry NEWMAN
Marksmanship - Cdt Ana PEREIRA (CW)
Attendance - Cdt Zachary BOWDEN
Best Section - 2 Section: Sgt DOVEY, Cdts EGERT, GALORIA, GIRGIS, GORDON, HAY, & JOHN
Fieldcraft - Cdt Ryan MASZCZYK (CW)
Marksmanship - Dmr Amelia CHWALINSKA (CW)
Drill & Turnout - Cdt Antoine MUNIER (CW)
Captain Spivey Salver for Best Wilding Cadet - Dmr Amelia CHWALINSKA (CW)
Endeavour - LCpl Peter GORDON
Sadiq Cup for Best Casey Cadet - Cpl Alice JENKINS
CORPS OF DRUMS
Best Attendance - Dmr Hannah ADEGBITE (CW)
Musical Development - Dmr Amelia CHWALINSKSA (CW)
Outstanding Contribution - Sgt Ethan BARTER