HCS CCF Army dinner celebrates 40 years of female cadets

04 Jul 2019

This year marks 40 years since girls entered the Army Cadet Force, and Hereford Cathedral School is this week celebrating the contribution of females to the organisation, whose motto is ‘To Inspire to Achieve’.

Last night, the Army Section of Hereford Cathedral School’s Combined Cadet Force held their first dinner, celebrating 40 years of female cadets, on the eve of International Women’s Day. At the event, two female senior HCS cadets gave a talk to the guests about the hugely positive impact that being involved in the CCF has had on their education and personal development.

Among the guests at the dinner were a group of cadets from Whitecross School, who train as part of Hereford Cathedral School CCF.

In her speech to the dinner guests, Senior Cadet Harriet R said “Taking part in 24-hour exercises made me realise that if I can get through a section attack in the freezing cold after minimal sleep, then I can get through anything.”

The event was a timely reminder of positive and inclusive changes that are synonymous with Hereford Cathedral School’s drive for equality and diversity, and the long tradition of cadet leadership training at the school.

Maj (Retd) Donna Greaves became Hereford Cathedral School’s first female School Staff Instructor in 2017. She explained: “The contingent, which is made up of Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force cadets has a high proportion of committed and enthusiastic female Senior Cadets who act as excellent role models in all respects.”

Hereford Cathedral School headmaster Mr Smith commented: “The CCF at Hereford Cathedral School provides an excellent opportunity for girls to develop skills in teamwork and leadership. That our school is coeducational means that girls can see first-hand that such opportunities are not the preserve of boys. Many of our section leaders are girls and some have gone on to successful careers in the armed forces as a result (although the CCF is not designed to be a recruiting ground for such progression).

“In 2012, former pupil Sarah Hunter-Choat, was awarded the ‘Sword of Honour’ at Sandhurst, and it was marvellous that she came back to her old school as an honoured guest at the CCF Contingent’s biennial inspection. I cannot think of a better endorsement for the equality of opportunity that the CCF affords our girls.”

Joining the CCF provides pupils with a wonderful opportunity to take part in Army themed activities and events, all of which focus on building self-disciplined individuals with self-courage and a sense of worth. As a youth organisation, the CCF strives to give cadets a fun and safe experience.