Army Cadets from Gloucestershire, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Bristol, Somerset and Wiltshire joined their counterparts from across the country, in a unique three-day French battlefield tour to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the World War One Armistice.
Over 3,500 cadets from 39 ACF counties and 13 Combined Cadet Force units, from across Great Britain took part in the trip which is the largest single activity that the ACF has undertaken in the UK. The tour involved five groups of around 700 cadets, accompanied by ACF volunteer instructors.
During the tour, cadets journeyed to World War One battlefields in France and were given the opportunity to talk to experts about the causes of the war, as well as technology, medicine and commemoration. At the end of each visit, the groups took part in a commemorative parade at the Thiepval Memorial. Before undertaking the visit, cadets carried out research to help them understand more about their own family’s roles in WW1.
Col Mark Nash, Commandant of Wiltshire ACF, worked with HQ Regional Command and the Defence Infrastructure Organisation to plan the event. Mark’s aim was to encourage more cadets to explore their family’s 100 year journey and understand the sacrifices made by those who took part in WW1. “Being part of a huge commemorative event should give the cadets a lasting memory and positive attitude towards commemoration.”