Cadets at Westminster City School
Our Westminster City School Army Cadet Unit gives our pupils access to fun, friendship, action and adventure. We challenge boys to learn more, do more and try more. We inspire them to aim high and give them the skills, values and attitudes to go further in life, no matter what they aim to do.
The ACF is a national, voluntary, uniformed youth organisation. They offer a broad range of challenging adventurous and educational activities, some of them on a military theme, but all of them designed to help your son develop and thrive. The ACF is sponsored by the Army but not part of it, which means there is absolutely no requirement on cadets to join any of the Armed Forces.
A cadet detachment was re-formed at the school in 2007 and we are called 234 Detachment KRRC (King’s Royal Rifle Corps). We are part of NW London sector ACF. The KRRC is a direct descendant of the Queens Westminster Rifles and cadets are allowed to continue to wear the KRRC cap badge (even though the regiment is disbanded) as some KRRC cadets won a battle honour during the South Africa war in 1901 and are the only cadets ever to do so. Only three other cadet detachments have this honour as well as being able to call our cadets Riflemen instead of ‘cadets’
The school cadet unit is currently commanded by Lt. J Wilson (also Headmaster) who is ably assisted by Sgt. Lionel Bush (also a learning support assistant)
We parade every Wednesday at 5pm to 7pm. The cadets is usually open to students in the spring term of Year 9 and Lt. Wilson will inform boys of when recruitment begins.
After joining the cadets, boys will be issued with a uniform free of charge. The uniform remains the property of the army and must be handed back when the cadet leaves. Cadets are expected to look after their uniform and arrive smartly presented in uniform on Wednesday parades. They are required to purchase their own boots at a cost of around £20.
We must emphasise that cadets are placed under no pressure to join the armed forces nor can a cadet ever be forced to fight in the armed services in any way.
All cadets follow a curriculum of including the following proficiency subjects:
• Map and Compass/navigation
• Skill at arms
• First aid
• Adventurous training
• Physical achievement
• Military knowledge
Cadets normally go on at least 4 weekend camps per year including Christmas, Easter, first aid and fieldcraft. The main event of the year is a two-week annual camp during the summer holiday. There are also sporting events such as football, athletics and cross-country and ceremonial events such as Remembrance Sunday.
Cadets are expected to attend all parade nights and weekend activities. In order to gain the maximum benefit from being a cadet a degree of commitment is required. This should be borne in mind if you are also a member of other clubs or sporting activities.
Westminster City School Cadets history
There has historically been a cadet unit at Westminster Boys school for over 100 years. The cadet corps was a major part in the life of the school and it had over 50 members. The cadets were part of the Queen’s Westminster Rifles (QWR) and many old boys served in this regiment during the Great War (1914-1918). Sadly, many never returned and young men like Jack Pouchot served with great distinction in the QWRs. The school cadet corps was disbanded in the 1960s.
Army Cadet Force Background
The Army Cadet Force (ACF) is a nationwide voluntary youth organisation supported by the British Army. The ACF can trace its beginnings to 1859 and was later maintained and developed by social reform pioneers such as Octavia Hill due to the enormous personal development opportunities the organisation could offer. The current conception of the ACF is a voluntary youth organisation, helped and inspired by the Army. The motto of the ACF is “to inspire to achieve” and the emphasis is very much on personal development through teamwork, self-reliance and leadership.
There are over 50,000 cadets in 1,600 detachments nationwide that all benefit from the opportunities available but only a very small proportion choose the join the armed forces when they leave.