This month marks 40 years since the first girls entered the Wellington College Combined Cadet Force, in September 1979. At that stage they were only permitted to join the Royal Naval section, as it was felt that this was “better able to accept them and to provide training in which they were interested”. Today, all sections of the CCF are open to girls and, this year, the senior cadets in the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force sections are all female. Emily G, who has recently been awarded an Army Scholarship, will head up the Army section; Molly S takes on the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force section is in the capable hands of Natasha M.
At Wellington, we are fortunate to have a flourishing CCF and much depends on the dedication of our staff, who are brilliantly led by Contingent Commander Ian Frayne. Many members of the teaching staff are involved on Wednesday afternoons and some, like Maths teacher Clare Edwards, go above and beyond.
Clare is a Senior Officer in the RAF section at Wellington, but she is also heavily involved in the Air Cadet Organisation (ACO) outside College. As a volunteer on the Air Cadet Leadership Course, held at RAF College Cranwell, Lincolnshire, Clare guides cadets towards their Gold Award, the gold standard leadership badge for cadets. She also volunteers at the South East Area Cadre, held at RAF Henlow, where she trains cadets for the bronze and silver leadership awards. So significant is Clare’s involvement in the ACO that she has recently been asked to take part in a marketing campaign for the RAF section, the aim of which is to encourage more adult volunteers into the Combined Cadet Force.
Clare commented: “Wellington’s core values are Respect, Integrity, Courage, Responsibility and Kindness, and these of course overlap the RAF’s own values of Respect, Integrity, Service and Excellence. As my father had been an officer in the RAF it was a natural choice for me to join the RAF, and I can honestly say it has been the best decision I have ever made”.