Suffolk school Contingent Commander recognised for services to the Reserves and CCF

Posted on February 28, 2018

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CCF Contingent Commander at the Royal Hospital School, Suffolk, Lt Col Marc Godfrey, has been awarded the Lord-Lieutenant's Certificate of Meritorious Volunteer Service.

The award recognises his lengthy and valuable service to the UK Reserves and Combined Cadet Force (CCF). Marc retires from teaching and the CCF at the end of this academic year after 40 years of committed service.

Marc first enrolled in the CCF when he was at Farnborough Sixth Form College in 1974. He was a member of Cardiff UOTC whilst at Aberystwyth University and on completion of his degree went on to join the local TA regiment 6 (V) Bn Royal Anglian in August 1980.  He commissioned from RMAS into TA(V)R on 23 May 1981. Marc joined the Royal Hospital School on 1 September 1996 as a teacher of politics and Housemaster of Nelson House, a Sixth Form Boarding House.  He was appointed Contingent Commander of the Combined Cadet Force in October 1999 and under his leadership, the Royal Hospital School CCF is now one of the largest in the country.

Headmaster, Mr Simon Lockyer said: “In his time in command Marc has seen the contingent grow to well over 300 cadets with 4 sections fully represented: Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Army and RAF as well a sub sections of a Naval Honour Guard and Marching Band, REME detachment, Pioneer Corps, CCF Equestrian Team and for a considerable period a HM Coastguard Unit. The CCF has also been the conduit for pupils being engaged with the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. Marc has also established a well-trodden pathway for those wanting to follow a career in the services with around 10% of school leavers joining one of the armed services. It is Marc’s enthusiasm, commitment and dedication to all areas of CCF activities that has made our contingent at RHS such a success”.

The Royal Hospital School has had proud links with the Navy for more than 300 years and a reputation for providing excellent pastoral care and academic support for services families. Often known in the past as the Cradle of the Navy nearly 20,000 boys (and latterly some girls) have gone on from the school to serve aboard HM ships from Nelson’s day to the present.

Simon Lockyer goes on to say: “During his time at RHS, Marc has completed every CCF camp and field day and attended the bulk of the adventure training camps on land, water and sea. He is a school dinghy instructor and dragon boat helm, and in June 2015 he joined a group of Metropolitan Police ‘Bobby on a Bike’ to dragon boat from the navigable source of the River Thames in Wiltshire to Teddington in London raising over £5000 for the St Elizabeth Hospice. For more than 10 years, Marc has been the Suffolk representative at the East Anglian Reserve Forces and Cadet Association and an active participant of the CCF Association and has been a keen advocate and supporter of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme in all his appointments. Through his endeavour and enthusiasm Marc has cultivated positive and lasting links for the RHS CCF with all the major regional regular and reserve units, and encouraged the development of camps in the UK and overseas. He has also fostered links with cadets units from overseas including most recently from the Royal Bermudan Regiment, who have a strong link with the Royal Anglians”.

Marc and his wife Sarah, who is Deputy Head (Pastoral) at the Royal Hospital School, will be retiring at the end of this academic year after 22 years. Major Jonathan Pooley (pictured left) has been appointed his successor as CCF Contingent Commander from September 2018.

Marc said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of my time in the CCF and if my passion for the organisation has inspired cadets to get involved and make the most of their school days then I am even more delighted.”