20211111 TWGGS CCF Standard Party

Cenotaph War Widows Association 13/11/21

On Saturday the 13th of November a squad of 16 cadets went to the London Cenotaph to take part in the Remembrance Parade for the War Widows Association (WWA). Tunbridge Wells Girl’s Grammar School CCF (TWGGS CCF) has helped this charity on a few occasions: it is something very dear to the heart for our contingent. We had been their flag party and escorting cadets for their Founder’s Day Service at the Guards Chapel in September. We continue to be extremely proud to support them where possible.

On Remembrance Day, cadets provided the Standard party, were parade markers, escorted the War Widows, handed out programmes, looked after the vulnerable and flanked the VIPs and Widows on their walk to the Cenotaph. The service was followed by an excellent performance from the Pipe Band who were very friendly and allowed us to take photos with them once we had finished our duties.

During our time in London, we had the opportunity to give our support to Richard Ratcliffe, who had been on a hunger strike for the past 21 days to raise awareness for his wife’s situation. We were there to try and cheer him up on that chilly morning, so we ended up singing ‘Yellow Submarine’ and the school song to him to try and cheer him up: he was looking very fragile. This interlude was even captured live on Iranian TV and was written about in The Guardian.

Cenotaph War Widows Association 13/11/21

22 November 2021

  • Army
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20211111 TWGGS CCF with Ben Wallace

After the service we had the chance to meet the Secretary of State for Defence Ben Wallace: for me, this was a personal highlight. Throughout the day we were able to talk with many of the Widows and hear their fascinating stories. We were also lucky enough to be allowed access to 10 Downing Street, this was a very exciting moment that we shall never forget! It was a very enjoyable day and was a beautiful way to hold such an important service.

We are all touched and grateful to have been part of the ceremony and it was such a special service, marking 50 years since the founding of the WWA and commemorating a day where all survivors can mark their respect and remember loved ones. It was a great honour and was a very humbling occasion.

Cpl Ahmed

20211111 TWGGS CCF Downing St