The Challenge! (Edition 19 Summer 2015)

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Summer 2015

ROYAL MARINES CADETS Part of the Volunteer Cadet Corps

Meet The Challenge!

The Challenge! Edition 19 Summer 2015

Its been another busy summer for the RM Cadets of the VCC. This training period kicked off with the Cautley Cup at CTCRM, where the cadets from Lympstone Division proved that their intense training was well worth the effort. Our cadets have also been busy on exercise and appearing in public at various events, and looking forward to their Summer Camps. Oh, we won the Portsmouth Cup too!

Front Cover Portsmouth Division enjoyed a ‘Top Gear’ moment as the Inspecting Officer for their recruits’ Pass Out parade in July added some tropical brightness to the event. There is more on this and Pass Out parades in Lympstone and Plymouth further on in this edition.

Well Say Something Then! Contributions from cadets, staff and families are always welcome here at the editor’s office. Just send your pictures and words to us by email via

Portsmouth Cadets Enjoy Another Field Day May proved to be another busy month for the RM cadets from the Portsmouth Division as they embarked on the Cautley Cup and Ex Storm Cloud. Ex Storm Cloud was designed as a scenario based field package to put the cadets’ field and tactical skills in to play. The cadets were divided into two troops, with one troop remaining as RM Cadets (but taking the title of RoyMarFor) and the second troop adopting the persona of some desperate rebels in the imaginary central European enclave on Tilrovia. News had reached us that the Tilrovian Rebel Army was besieging the British Embassy at the capital, Hankley. Her Majesty’s Ambassador was holed up in the embassy with a skeleton staff, awaiting RoyMarFor to arrive and rescue them.

Rescue party storming the ‘embassy’

After RoyMarFor’s vehicle patrol was ambushed by the rebels during their first rescue attempt, the next morning saw a concerted effort by the cadets to finally grab the ambassador and take him to safety. Despite a gallant performance by the rebels, right over wrong was proven once more as the rescue party stormed into the besieged and forlorn embassy and brought out the ambassador to the waiting rescue vehicle. Mission accomplished!

Debus drills prior to a vehicle patrol in ‘Tilrovia’

A worried looking ‘ambassador’ awaits rescue Royal Marines Cadets

Tough Competition at the Cautley Cup The annual Cautley Cup competition, held between representatives of the three VCC Divisions of the Royal Marines Cadets is a hotly contested event, and this year more than ever Portsmouth, the reigning champions, were under increased pressure from Lympstone and Stonehouse cadets. The teams arrived on the evening of Friday 1 May ready for their briefing and to be shown to their luxury accommodation (well, it had a bed!). Portsmouth were a bit late after some MT trauma back at Whale Island, but were raring to go to defend their title. On Saturday the day was spent on a wet and windy Woodbury Common training area, where the six teams (junior and senior cadets from each Division) faced six challenging stances: map reading, weapons handling, first aid and casevac, team building task, cam and concealment and observation. The weather was horrendous and rain was coming in from every direction, but this didn’t put off the cadets who just dug in and cracked on. Thankfully, a return to CTC and a slightly warmer Saturday evening beckoned, and the sporting events took place. The teams had a round robin of football and basketball, and the competition was stiff. It was obvious that each team was eager to win, with the matches getting a little too ‘assertive’ at times. After a long day the cadets were looking forward to getting to bed to have a well earned rest before the next day’s big event.

At 0630 the Lymsptone cadets and training team had a brisk run to warm themselves up and mentally prepare themselves for the day’s events, they were certainly very keen on keeping the silverware on home turf. The first event of the day was the bottom field assault course with a log and a dummy. After watching the other teams try and fail jumping the water with the dummy, Lympstone opted for the fireman’s carry effect, clearing the start without one cadet getting wet. The cadets dug deep and put every thing into the course and finished top by far, with minutes in front of the other teams. The next event was the log run around the camp circuit. The seniors were shocked to see the size of the log, nearly three times the size of the one they had been training with, whilst the juniors were happy to see a log smaller than their training log. Lympstone juniors were again minutes in front of the other teams, the seniors however were almost neck and neck with Portsmouth, just skimming a win after unfortunately dropping the log. After the log run the cadets went straight into a camp circuit, Cadet Tyler Fallon in the junior team won again by a good minute. There was no time to rest as the teams went onto the Landover push, sure that the driver was resting his foot on the brake pedal! The final event was a full regain over the tank; Cdt Cpl Connor Bruce (seen here on the left) represented Lympstone and was up first, and pulled off a “PTI demonstration perfect” regain, scoring top points with no faults at all. Cdt WO2 Devon Smith from Portsmouth won the biggest round of applause as he effectively did three regains but couldn’t quite manage to get back on top of the rope and opted for the wet way home. Col Paul Cautley (Colonel Commandant RMC), Lt Col John Maddison (Corps Colonel RM) and the COs arrived for the results and presentations as the final scores were counted. In the end, the result was a clear win for Lympstone as they won both the junior and senior teams, and therefore the Cautley Cup overall. Well done to all teams though, and we are sure that next year’s competition will be even tougher. Meet The Challenge!

Portsmouth Cup Stays at Lympstone The winning units of the three Royal Marines Cadets competitions meet to decide which is the best RMC unit in the country and become holders of the impressive Portsmouth Cup. Won last year by Chatham RMC of the SCC, a former VCC unit, Lympstone were representing the RM Cadets of the VCC this year. Friday 23 May soon came round, and the Portsmouth cup was upon us. Each winning unit of the RM Cadets of the VCC, CCF and SCC can enter a team of four to six cadets, who then deliver a presentation to a panel of judges on why they are worthy of winning the Portsmouth Cup. Lympstone Division RMC of the VCC were up first with a team of five; the presentation went well and the panel of judges thankfully laughed at all the cadet’s jokes. At the end of the presentation came questions from the panel, which the cadets knew would also be marked. The Corps RSM, WO1(RSM) Phil Gilby RM, asked Cdt Sgt Freddy Fitt to sum up the RM cadets in one word. The room fell quiet, and after a bit of thought Sgt Fitt said “Its...sick Sir!”. A moment of awkward silence followed and the training team wondered how it would go down; the room soon erupted with laughter, thankfully, as the current teenage slang was correctly interpreted as a positive comment. The cadets were clapped out the presentation suite and awaited the other teams to have their go. WO2 Luxton receives the Portsmouth Cup from the Comdt of CTCRM

An extremely nervous time for all the team, an hour or so later the cadets were called upon to fall in on the CGRMs court to await the results from the Commandant CTCRM, Col Kevin Oliver. “This year’s winners of the Portsmouth Cup are……Lympstone.” The cadets were so chuffed they didn’t know weather to cheer, clap or jump around. They however opted for a high five, a slight bundle and a clap, of course. Cdt WO2 Callum Luxton stepped forward to receive the trophy, with a justifiably huge grin.

Lympstone Division RMVCC is now the top scoring Royal Marines Cadet unit in the United Kingdom, and greatly enjoyed an extremely proud day for all in the VCC and at CTCRM.

Filer Medal Congratulations to Cdt Cpl, now Sgt, Evan Watts of the Portsmouth Division for winning the Filer Medal as the Best All-Round Cadet on the Senior Command Course 2015.

Marines Don’t Have the Monopoly on Fun Did you know you can now get the famous Monopoly game in Royal Marines Colours? As part of the RM350 celebrations last year, a new Monopoly set has been produced dedicated to the Royal Marines and featuring a number of Corps related aspects. The board can be bought from the Royal Marines Shop or by clicking here.

Royal Marines Cadets

More Recruits Pass Out The Royal Marines Cadets of the VCC continue to attract new recruits, and the culmination of their training is the Pass Out parade where family and friends come to watch their skills and drills. For the recruits this hopefully marks many years of fun and learning as one of HM Royal Marines Cadets… Lympstone Division Well done to Recruit Troop 78 who passed out at the start of June. Massive congratulations to Rct Georgia Kew for receiving the best recruit award and Rct Korben Wood for being the runner up. Also, well done to the whole troop for an amazing arms drill display. The two cadet DLs, Cdt Cpl Connor Bruce and Cdt CSgt Mike Ousley, did a good job in guiding the recruits and running the first Pass Out parade in the Lympstone Division entirely managed by cadets with no instructor help whatsoever.

The winners proudly show off their trophies after the Pass Out of Recruit Troop 78

Recruit Troop 78 show off their skills and drills to their families and friends

Portsmouth Division Recruit Company 151 Passed Out for duty on Tuesday 21 July 2015 in the drill shed at HMS Excellent. All cadets from the Portsmouth Division attended the parade, with A and B Companies formed up in the rear no doubt with memories of their own Pass Out parades uppermost in their minds. The recruits were led onto the parade by the Band and Drums, and once the inspecting officer arrived continued with their routine. The Belle Isle Award and the Commanding Officer’s Cup for the Best All-Round Recruit was awarded to Rct Joseph Bartram. Of note for this parade was that the Inspecting Officer and one of the recruits were from the same family, as Rct Cameron Valerio was presented with his RMC cap and ‘passed for duty’ in front of his father, Lt Cdr Stephen Valerio USN.

Portsmouth’s R Coy 151 march on to their Pass Out parade ready to show the audience what they have learned Meet The Challenge!

The Band and Drums accompanied R Coy 151 during their Pass Out parade

Plymouth Division The recruits of Recruit Troop 215 at Plymouth Division passed out on Wednesday 24 June 2015 in front of their parents and guests at RMB Stonehouse. The Inspection, March Past and presentation of awards and cadet promotions was taken by Capt Adrain Webb RM, Commanding Officer.

Capt Webb RM, CO, speaks to the recruits during the Pass Out parade

The recruits and Corps or Drums form up with the Colours at RMB Stonehouse for the Recruit Troop 215 Pass Out parade

We gratefully recognise Ozzie Glover Photography as the copyright holder of the above images from Plymouth Division RMC

First Steps to Fieldcraft Fun In the Portsmouth Division all recruits attend Ex First Steps just before they reach the end of their training. This exercise is designed to introduce them to a range of fieldcraft skills and show them the delights of sleeping under a bivvi for the first time. Sixteen recruits arrived at Browndown Training Area by coach to receive a ‘warm welcome’ and safety brief from the 2IC. They were then allowed to bed down for the night inside the ‘hangar’ so they could get a good night’s sleep and ensure they were ready and raring to go the next day. An early start at 0630 and a kit packing and inspection stance followed. The recruits were then introduced to camouflage and concealment skills and a field cooking lesson. “Yes!” said the cadet training team, “ration pack food tastes lovely, honest!” The recruits probably have their own opinion on that now. The glorious sunny weather by the Solent provided a useful backdrop to an afternoon of training including bivvi building and moving without a weapon. As the day crept on evening meal was provided by DS as we need to conserve our ration packs and the darkness allowed us to provide our popular noise and light demonstration. Another 0630 reveille on the Sunday led into breakfast from DS and a morning stalking practice with some fantastic performances – we actually thought we had lost a few! The exercise finished with handshakes and smiles as the recruits, who up to now had been wearing cap comforters with their uniform, were presented with their RMC blue berets by Major Terry Wing RMC, Commanding Officer of the Portsmouth Division. Royal Marines Cadets

Cadets Support Museum Action Day Supporting our Corps Museum serves to illustrate how the RM Cadets of the VCC get involved in all aspects of the Corps Family. On 28 May the Portsmouth Division were invited by WO1(RSM) Phil Gilby RM, the Corps RSM, to help provide support for the Museum’s Commando Action Day – and well, who would refuse the Corps RSM? The Field Gun crew plus other volunteers who manned the Portsmouth Division recruiting stall provided the contingent and aside from enjoying themselves at a great Corps Family event also helped to maintain the link between the cadets and their ancestral home.

Some hoofing efforts were put in to run against the clock during Commando Action day

Another Step in the History of the Museum The Corps Museum is part of The National Museum of the Royal Navy, and is likely to move from its current premises to Portsmouth Historic Dockyard within the next few years.

Established in October 1958, the Museum represents the history of the Royal Marines from their beginnings in 1664 through to the present day. The Museum is located in the former Officers Mess of Eastney Barracks; the barracks was originally constructed as the headquarters of the Royal Marines Artillery in the 1860s. Even today, the grand stairs leading up to the main entrance bear evidence to the antics of officers based at the mess; indeed some of the marks were as a result of a field gun being let loose down the stairs after one particularly good night. On the 28 October 2008, the museum’s Golden anniversary, it was awarded Best Small Visitor Attraction of the Year from Tourism South East, recognising its excellence, both regarding it exhibitions and the quality of its customer service. Some of the highlights of the museum include the Medal Room, with over 8000 medals on show. The display also includes all ten Victoria Crosses awarded to the Corps. The museum is apparently residence to two ghosts. One is a young girl, seen around the steps to the main entrance, who according to local legend was crushed to death when she ran in front of a horsedrawn carriage. The other ghost is the smell of burning and a depressing atmosphere, experienced by staff in the attic; this has been linked to the local legend of a 19th Century officer called Colonel Wolf who burnt his love letters and shot himself after the end of a love affair. In September 2008, the museum purchased a rare medal for £41,000, partly enabled by a contribution of £28,000 from the National Heritage Memorial Fund. The medal, the Naval General Service Medal with Trafalgar clasp, was awarded to Lt Lewis Buckle Reeve who, following serious injury at the Battle of Trafalgar, was laid next to the mortally-wounded Admiral Nelson in HMS Victory. This medal is now displayed alongside Lt Reeve's Muster List of Royal Marines on-board HMS Victory at Trafalgar.

Meet The Challenge!

VC at Lake Commachio Another in our series of Victoria Cross stories this time looks back at the heroic actions of Cpl Thomas Peck Hunter RM, the last VC so far awarded to our Parent Corps. Hunter was a 21 year old corporal in 43 (RM) Commando during the Spring 1945 offensive in Italy during the Second World War…

On 2 April 1945 at Lake Comacchio, Italy, Corporal Hunter, who was in charge of a Bren gun section, offered himself as a target to save his troop. Seizing the gun, he charged alone across open ground for almost 200 yards under intense fire towards a group of houses where three MG 42 machine-guns were placed. So determined was his charge that the enemy soldiers were demoralized and six enemy gunners surrendered, with the remainder fleeing. Hunter cleared the house, changing magazines as he ran and continued to draw enemy fire until most of the troop had reached cover. Cpl Hunter was however killed, firing accurately to the last. Danish national, Major Anders Lassen of the Special Boat Service (SBS) was also awarded a VC posthumously in the same action. Hunter is buried at the Argenta Gap (Commonwealth War Graves Commission) War Cemetery, Emilia-Romagna. The Royal Marines treasure the memory of their only Second World War Victoria Cross recipient and a good number of buildings, memorials and organisations are named after him. Hunter’s nephew, John Swinney, is the Scottish finance secretary and a Member of the Scottish Parliament. Cpl Hunter’s grave at Emilia-Rogmagna in northern Italy (left) and the memorial to him at the Ocean Terminal in Edinburgh (below)

Royal Marines Cadets

A Flag of Union The Royal Marines Cadet Banner that was paraded earlier this year at the VCC Annual Review in Portsmouth takes a number of design features from Royal Marines commando group Regimental Colours. Perhaps most important of these is the Union Flag in the canton (corner) nearest the pike head (top of the flag pole). The Union Flag is the national flag of the United Kingdom, representing the four home nations of the UK; England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. The flag is a combination of the patron saints’ flags of England (St George), Ireland (St Patrick) and Scotland (St Andrew). Wales (St David) is not shown as it is deemed to be part of the Kingdom of England, it being a Principality of England in 1282 and therefore long before England joined with Scotland to form the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. It has often be said that Wales should be included, either with a Red Dragon in the centre of the flag or some of the blue of the St Andrew’s flag replaced by the black of the traditional flag of St David – the matter remains unresolved. The first Union Flag was made when the Kingdoms of England and Scotland joined in ‘personal union’ (that is, two separate countries sharing the same monarch) in 1606, with the current design dating from the inclusion of the then Kingdom of Ireland in 1801 into the Kingdom of Great Britain, itself dating back to 1707. When the Republic of Ireland left the Union in 1921, Northern Ireland remained part of the UK and hence remains part of the Union Flag. The Union Flag is said to be one of the most recognisable national flags in the world. This is partly due to the impact of the British Empire, which has led to a number of flags around the world including the Union Flag; Australia and New Zealand are well known examples of this. Even the flag of the US state of Hawaii has the Union Flag on it! The Union Flag appears on a number of other UK flags including the Royal Navy’s White Ensign, the Red Ensign (irreverently known as the Red Duster) of the British Merchant Navy and the Blue Ensign of non-RN government ships, for example the Royal Fleet Auxiliary. The Union Flag is afforded utmost respect and reverence whenever on parade. Meet The Challenge!

Union Flag from 1606 to 1801

Union Flag from 1801 to present day

White Ensign of the Royal Navy

Around the Divisions A gallery of pictures from around the Divisions show just how busy our cadets continue to be…

Plymouth Division’s Corps of Drums won first place at the Youth Marching Band Competition at Okehampton Camp, run by The Rifles Plymouth Division’s new Field Gun crew put on one of their first display during Armed Forces Day

Plymouth Division cadets watch their older Corps Family colleagues during their visit to the National Memorial Arboretum

Portsmouth Division cadets give a salute for the Armed Forces Day Facebook page

Lympstone cadets practice their first aid skills during the CO’s Cup competition Portsmouth Division’s Field Gun crew put on a speedy demonstration to over 200 CCF(RN) cadets at HMS Excellent Royal Marines Cadets

Keep on Gunning The Royal Field Gun Marines competition Cadet Banner and display that was group paraded of the Portsmouth Division is one of the most popular earlier this activities of the year Royal at Marines the VCCCadets. AnnualCompeting Review inagainst the ‘blue jackets’ of our sister units at HMS Portsmouth takes Collingwood VCC and a number HMS Sultan of design VCC, the features Portsmouth from crew have had a successful season. Royal Marines commando group Regimental Colours. Perhaps most important of these is the The Portsmouth RMC Field Gun crew started Union Flag in the canton (corner) nearest the pike training at the end of April and were soon into head (top of the flag pole). their first competition at the Portsmouth Area VCC Field Gun Competition at HMS Collingwood, the The Union Flag is the national flag of the United precursor to the HMS Collingwood ‘Brickwoods’ Kingdom, representing the four home nations of the Field Gun Day competition. Despite tough UK; England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. competition from the other two crews the Union Flag from 1606 to 1801 Portsmouth team came home with the winners The flag is a combination of the patron saints’ flags trophy. Unfortunately they couldn’t quite manage of England (St George), Ireland (St Patrick) and a win at the Brickwoods event the next weekend Scotland (St Andrew). Wales (St David) is not shown but still had an enjoyable day. as it is deemed to be part of the Kingdom of England, it being a Principality of England in 1282 The 20 and 21 June saw the crew attend the and therefore long before England joined with annual HMS Sultan Summer Show. The cadets put Scotland to form the Kingdom of Great Britain in on a brilliant run but the crew could only manage 1707. It has often be said that Wales should be second place, pipped to the post by the home included, either with a Red Dragon in the centre of team; at least it came with a runners up trophy Flagon from 1801attoHMS present day the flag or some of the blue of the St Andrew’s flag nowUnion proudly display Excellent. replaced by the black of the traditional flag of St David – the matter remains unresolved. Then, on the evening of 22 June, the PAVCC Field Gun crews met for the Command Championships, The first Union Flag was made when the Kingdoms the highlight of the season. There was some fierce of England and Scotland joined in ‘personal union’ competition going on between the teams, but after (that is, two separate countries sharing the same several runs in front of families and local monarch) in 1606, with the current design dating dignitaries, Portsmouth Division’s team came out from the inclusion of the then Kingdom of Ireland in on top and took the silverware home for the first 1801 into the Kingdom of Great Britain, itself dating time since 2007. back to 1707. When the Republic of Ireland left the White Ensign of the Royal Navy Union in 1921, Northern Ireland remained part of the From the Archives UK and hence remains part of the Union Flag. We bravely delve through the cobwebs and into the darkest depths of the archive files again to reThe Union Flag is said to be one of the most discover a long lost picture from our 114 years of history. recognisable national flags in the world. This is partly due to the impact of the British Empire, which We travel back to 1979 to has led to a number of flags around the world see the Portsmouth Division including the Union Flag; Australia and New Zealand marching to St Andrew’s are well known examples of this. Even the flag of Church in RM Eastney, the US state of Hawaii has the Union Flag on it! probably on what used to be Corps Day in April. Leading the parade is WO2 Charles ‘Sandy’ Powell, a fearsome character but who had the cadets’ welfare very much at heart; to his left is WO2 Derek Hambling, OC C Coy who were heading the parade watched by families. Meet The Challenge!

Royal Marines Cadets Ethos The RMC Ethos mirrors the Commando Ethos that drives all members of our Corps Family: Cadet Values: EXCELLENCE INTEGRITY SELF-DISCIPLINE HUMILITY

Cadet Spirit: Strive to do better Tell the truth Resist the easy option Respect the rights, diversity and value of others


Get out front and do what is right Never give up Oppo first, team second, self last Make humour the heart of morale

Standing Orders Inform your Troop or Company Commander, Phase Lead or activity lead instructor if you are not able to attend a training night or other activity. This can be done by letter or email from your parent or guardian. Keep the Administration Office updated with your personal, emergency contact and medical information. Use our forms to send in updated details. Ensure that parental consent is obtained before attending any activity where such consent is required (for example weekend exercises or field gun displays). Make sure your uniform fits properly, is clean and ready to wear. Pay particular attention to your ‘blues’ uniform and check it fits well before any ceremonial parade. Report to the stores if you need items of uniform exchanged.

Regularly check our websites and notice boards for the latest events and news. Pay your subs each month and keep your pass with you at all times. How to make contact with us:

Portsmouth Division E: T: 023 9253 7495 A: Portsmouth Division RMVCC, 158 Building, HMS Excellent, Whale Island, Portsmouth, PO2 8ER

Plymouth Division

Lympstone Division

E: T: 01752 836367 A: Plymouth Division RMVCC, RMB Stonehouse, Durnford Street, Plymouth, PL1 3QS

E: T: 01392 414302 A: Lympstone Division RMVCC, Commando Training Centre RM, Exmouth Road, Exmouth, EX8 5AR

The views expressed in ‘The Challenge!’ do not necessarily reflect those of the RMVCC or MOD. © Royal Marines Volunteer Cadet Corps

All Rights Reserved

June 2015

Royal Marines Cadets