Doniford Army Cadets battle on and pass inspection despite threat of closure


Doniford Platoon has been given a high rating at their annual inspection, however despite efforts to increase Adult Volunteer numbers, the group is still under threat of closure.

Doniford Platoon, near Watchet and Williton, made a plea for new Adult Volunteers a month ago and if the volunteers do not appear soon, young people in the area will face losing their local youth group.

However, despite being under-staffed, the Platoon still received an impressive rating of ‘Above Standard’ at their Annual Inspection.

Inspecting Officer at Somerset ACF Headquarters, Captain Simon Betty, inspected the Platoon on April 2 and concluded that it was in great shape. He commented: “I am very pleased to see the Platoon is well looked after and has a good programme in place for the Cadets.” 

“It is a shame that because of the recent lack of regular staff the Cadet numbers have dropped,” he added, “and it is likely that the report grade will be downgraded as a result.”

Captain Betty presenting Heartstart certificates to Cadets Thomas Williams (shaking Captain Betty’s hand), Paul Brammel and Elliot Morran (from right to left)

Captain Betty presenting Heartstart certificates to Cadets Thomas Williams (shaking Captain Betty’s hand), Paul Brammel and Elliot Morran (from right to left)

Following his inspection, Captain Betty presented awards to Cadets who had completed training with the Platoon, highlighting the opportunities these young people receive through the ACF.

Heartstart Certificates were given to Cadets Thomas Williams (13) of West Quantoxhead, Elliott Morran (15) of Watchet and but Paul Brammel (13) of Williton, who all completed training in emergency life support skills.

Cadet Jack Eveleigh from Watchet then received his One Star Army Proficiency certificate for completing training and passing tests across 9 Military and Civilian subjects from Safe Weapon handling to Citizenship and First Aid. 

The 15 year-old was also awarded his first stripe on promotion to Lance Corporal.  Delighted with his achievements, he said: “It’s great to receive these awards, I’ve had a lot of fun with my training and now I finally have something to show how hard I’ve worked.

“This is something I’ve been working towards for a while now and it’s a good feeling to finally get my certificates and my first stripe.”

Captain Jon Beake, Adult Instructor at Somerset ACF said: “The Army Cadet Force training Cadets receive prepares them to become responsible members of society and is designed to instil discipline and foster teamwork, self-reliance, resilience and leadership. 

“Jack is testament to the success of the training we provide but we now need more junior cadets, as well as Adult Volunteers in order that the Platoon becomes a thriving unit.

“After the announcement a month ago regarding the possibility of the unit facing closure due to the lack of staff, several potential Adult Volunteers expressed interest,” he added.

“However, the unit is yet to find candidates who are able to provide the commitment to enable the Youngsters at the Platoon to benefit from the full range of adventure training and educational opportunities on a regular basis.”

If you would like to join as a Cadet, or an Adult Volunteer please visit or phone our Somerset ACF on 01823 284486 for more details.

Reserve Forces