On Friday 26 April the Combined Cadet Force (CCF) held the Whitgift Annual General Inspection and were very pleased to welcome back Old Whitgiftian Brigadier Jon Swift OBE, as our Inspecting Officer. Pupils from Whitgift and two partner schools, St. Andrew’s CE School and Thomas More Catholic School, took part in a wide range of activities from climbing to kayaking in the swimming pool, and survival tasks such as building shelters and cooking. They were also involved in military activities such as camouflage, concealment and flying on the flight simulator.
The formal Inspection of the Guard of Honour was led by Junior Under Officer, Andrew Bonner (Upper Sixth Form) and the Corps of Drums, under Drum Major Naveen Dhar (Lower Sixth Form). Brigadier Swift praised their performance and commented that he thought it was even better than when he had commanded the Guard of Honour 28 years ago! Despite the intermittent rain, spirits remained high and the boys were commended for their very high standards and obvious enthusiasm as he talked to them.
The Inspection was rounded off by the exciting and much anticipated arrival of the Wings RAF Parachute Display Team, who jumped into the grounds despite the low cloud and increasing winds. The older boys then put on a very lively and spirited Platoon Attack Demonstration and the Corps of Drums performed the Beating Retreat.
In his address to the boys, girls, staff and parents, Brigadier Swift spoke highly of the School and the CCF and he felt it encouraged leadership, resilience, leadership and fun, rating the CCF as outstanding. At dinner in the evening, presentations of tankards were made to the senior boys. It was noted over 30 Old Whitgiftians had been involved in helping lay on the day, which was testament to their loyalty to the School and their CCF experiences.
Head of History and Politics, Mr Smith summarised, “An excellent day for the boys and CCF adults, a pleasure to host Brigadier Swift and so many other Old Whitgiftians and very pleasing to be rated as an Outstanding CCF.”