On Sunday 3rd October 2004, over 60 cadets of Christ’s College CCF marched from the original school site in Hendon Lane to the current school in East End Road on Sunday despite steady drizzle and the threat of storms.
The march was lead by the Band of the Parachute Regiment and was escorted by the local Police. This marked the completion of a march which took place 25 years ago from Bisley to Finchley when the cadets carried by relay commemorative postal covers to mark the (then) 75th Anniversary.
On Sunday, to complete the journey and to mark their Centenary, the cadets carried a limited number of the original covers over-stamped to mark their 100th Year of existence since being formed as a Rifle Club in 1904.
All the Officers and adult staff of Christ’s College CCF are ex-cadets of the Unit and there were no fewer than eleven holders of the Cadet Forces Medal, awarded for long service in the cadet forces, present at the parade, seven of them still currently serving.
The parade commander was Captain John Cliff and the Unit Colour was carried by the Ensign, Under Officer Dilip Chauhan. Regimental Sergeant Major of the Escort to the Colour was Cdt WO1 Aaron Smith and Company Sergeant Major of the Guard was Cdt WO2 Glenn Martin.
On arrival at the school there was a March Past their headquarters where the salute was taken by the Commanding Officer, LtCol Jon Walden and the Headmaster Mr Gary Tucker.
A large crowd of parents, friends and ex-cadets then enjoyed displays by the cadets which included a Continuity Drill Display by the Cadet NCOs under the command of the CSM, Glenn Martin. This faultless arms drill display was carried out without any words of command by an extremely smart squad which was then inspected by one of the visiting ex-cadets Maj Gen (Retd) Ray Pett CB MBE.
There followed a “Gun Run”, a miniature version of the Royal Tournament Field Gun Race, by junior cadets organised by UO Dilip Chauhan which was won by the Blue Team under command of L/Cpl Ata Shater; and a Tactical Display by the Senior Cadets which took place on the school field under command of the Chief Instructor, Captain Ray Waller.
Commentary for the afternoon was provided by Captain Gary Davies who, with a team of adult staff sergeant instructors, controlled events on the ground including a Centenary Group photograph. The parade and event was organised by the Second-in-Command, Captain Brian Fuller who is currently celebrating his 53rd year of continuous service in the Cadet Unit since joining as a cadet in 1951.
Refreshments were organised by The Parents and Friends of CCF who, through the encouragement of John and Kati Nicholl had arranged a wide variety of food and laid on a positive banquet for the Band who greatly appreciated it after having marched through the rain. While enjoying their tea, the visitors were able to wander around the display of the Unit History which had been organised by the Stockdale Trust and arranged by its members, Mr John Millen, Mrs Peggy Fuller, Janet Millen and Pat Crick. Display material and communications during the afternoon were provided by WO2 Mike Crick who was also one of the drivers of the land rovers in the parade along with WO2 (RQMS) John Bowra who controlled the transport and allocation and safe control of all the stores and weapons involved in the various displays. The overprinting of the commemorative postal covers had been organised by ex-cadet Terry Gibson who also took all the official photographs during the afternoon
The afternoon was rounded off by the Band of the Parachute Regiment who “Beat Retreat” on the parade square in front of a very appreciative audience. The band played an entertaining programme of music including marches from The Royal Artillery, The Middlesex and Parachute Regiments all of whom have had affiliations with Christ’s College Cadets through their 100 year history. To round off the afternoon the Regimental Flag was lowered by Orderly Sergeant Michael Gruntz as the band played Evening Hymn and sounded “Sunset” before finally marching off to their Regimental March, the Ride of the Valkyries.