Armistice commemorations for CCF cadets on the Somme

Posted on October 29, 2018

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CCF cadets from 13 schools joined ACF cadets from across the country to commemorate Army Cadet Armistice 2018 with a poignant trip to the Somme.

This year marks 100 years since the end of WW1, and to honour and commemorate those who fought and died in the war, the Army’s Cadets (ACF and CCF) have joined together for the single largest event in their history.

Over five days, nearly 5,000 young people visited memorials significant to their cap badge at locations across the Somme in northern France, the site of some of the worst fighting in the First World War.

Cadets were escorted by adult volunteers and tour guides whose commentary brought home the enormously devastating effects of war as well as focusing on its causes and how it was fought.

For many cadets the trip was especially moving as they had researched stories of their family's involvement in the First World War.

2Lt David Bebbington, Adult Volunteer at Magdelen College, Oxford, who escorted cadets on the trip, has recently written a book about 50 former pupils who died during WW1 and their individual stories.

He said: "Researching and writing the book has helped to piece together a much greater understanding of the effect their service, and their sacrifice, had on the school community back home.

"This is therefore a very exciting and relevant trip for our cadets. Memories of the 50 former pupils are very much alive for us. School houses and several competitions that we run hold their names, and the poppy installation in our dining hall was installed by Tom Piper, one of the artists behind the Tower of London poppy installation and also a former pupil."

The day culminated in a service of commemoration at the imposing Thiepval Memorial which towers over the landscape. The monument is inscribed with 72,000 names of soldiers who died on the Somme.