19th April 2016
A group of 15 Year 9 CCF cadets were lucky enough to be invited on a 2-day visit to the Britannia Royal Naval College ‘down the road’ in Dartmouth.
It was a fantastic experience for cadets. Their overnight accommodation was on the College Training ship Hindostan (a former Royal Navy ship) moored alongside on the River Dart, with meals taken in the College itself, including the Junior Gun Room.
Cadets enjoyed tours of the College and its grounds, which are situated in a wonderful location overlooking the Dart, before being taken out on the river in training boats. Other activities included a session on the Low Ropes and a being taken out on the River Dart in College Whalers, with each cadet taking a turn on the helm.
A particular highlight was the visit to the state-of-the art ship simulator in the Navigation Block.
The main event was a very rare privilege, usually only witnessed by immediate family members of those involved: the Passing Out Parade for the newly trained Royal Navy officers. The officers were presented to the Reviewing Officer who turned out to be none other than HRH Princess Anne, the Princess Royal.
As our (only slightly biased) CCF Contingent Commander, Lt Cdr (CCF) Geraldine Poulet-Bowden RNR reminds us, ‘As a nautical person myself, I would like to point out that neither Sandhurst (Army) nor Cranwell (RAF) offer CCF cadets the opportunity to attend their respective PoPs.’
It was indeed a rare treat – a unique opportunity - for which the School and our CCF are deeply grateful.