Rydal Penrhos’ Combined Cadet Force were presented with a piece of school history by a current parent during a special ceremony recently.
The Officer Training Corps (OTC) made its first official appearance at a parade held at St John’s Church on Sunday 3 December 1916, at which 70 cadets were presented on strength. More than a century later – 103 years to be precise – the OTC has now evolved into the Combined Cadet Force (CCF), which was re-established at Rydal Penrhos in October 2019 under the leadership of the current Commanding Officer Captain Alun Brown and Senior Staff Instructor Sergeant Phil Hilton.
This Army Section is affiliated to the 1st Queen’s Dragoon Guards whereas the original Corps was affiliated to the 4th Royal Welch Fusiliers and the Headmaster, Rev’d A J Costain was appointed Honorary Chaplain while the Commanding Officer was Captain F R Saberton.
Its first two Sergeants were H R Collier and M L Whiteley.
History and tradition and linking the past to the present has always been important to the school and so when one of the school’s current parents and amateur historian Professor Atenstaedt came across a piece of related history it was too good a chance to miss. Through his own research into the history of the school’s Cadet Corps he found one of the original OTC beret badges.
Professor Atenstaedt then went about purchasing it and then in a ceremony this week he presented it to Captain Brown to add to the history and memorabilia of the ever-growing cadet force.
Due to current Covid-19 regulations, only the Year 11 cadets were in attendance during the visit, but they were still actively participating in a training evening.
The cadets were involved in a series of team exercises and planning activities as part of their instruction on a leadership cadre. Once regulations permit year groups at Rydal Penrhos to mix, it is hoped these enthusiastic pupils will lead the growing number of junior cadets who are joining the Army Section.
Professor Atenstaedt was impressed on the turnout of the Year 11 cadets and congratulated Captain Brown and Sgt Hilton on all their efforts in re-establishing the CCF initiative at Rydal Penrhos.
Rydal Penrhos is now able to offer private tours to prospective pupils and their families.