Bloxham School welcomed back Old Bloxhamist General Sir Adrian Bradshaw, Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe, to carry out the Biennial Inspection of the school’s Combined Cadet Force (CCF).
Bloxham School’s CCF cadets paraded smartly on the school quad awaiting General Adrian’s inspection last Thursday.
The General, as Deputy Commander of Europe’s Allied Armies, fitted a visit to his former school into his demanding schedule before taking a lunchtime flight back to Brussels to resume duties.
He was keen to return to his old school and visit the CCF, which he himself enjoyed being a member of during his time at Bloxham.
General Adrian spoke to a number of junior and senior cadets during the inspection and was then introduced to key personalities including Captain Nigel Evans, the Contingent Commander; Major Jan de Gale, the Adjutant/School Staff Instructor; CCF instructors; Paul Sanderson, Bloxham School’s headmaster; Nigel Bankes, the school’s chairman of governors; and members of Eleven Infantry Brigade Cadet Training Team.
Following the inspection the senior cadets, made up of students from fourth form to upper sixth, split off to take part in a variety of activities.
Throughout the morning the cadets had the opportunity to challenge their accuracy on the 0.22 No8 rifles at the school’s 25-yard indoor rifle range; test their arrow groupings at archery; fire paintballs at targets using infantry section level tactics and take part in a patrol and observation lane activity. The cadets particularly enjoyed it when General Adrian and his entourage volunteered to ‘have a go’ at some of the activities themselves.
The General fired a very impressive grouping on the No8 rifle in the indoor range, made all the more so by the fact that he hadn’t fired the rifle for 40 years.
Meanwhile, the third form cadets spent the full day being taught all the lessons and safe handling drills of the Cadet A2 General Purpose 5.56mm rifle.
The day culminated in a weapon handling test, which all cadets are required to pass before being permitted to go on to fire live or blank rounds.