The fortress walls of Elizabeth Castle will once again ring out to the sound of barked commands and well drilled feet this weekend as the Royal Jersey Militia Army Cadet Force sets up camp.
Cadets from Jersey and Guernsey will garrison the Castle on Saturday and Sunday and will undertake a number of training exercises and assessments as part of their on-going development.
For the first time the Cadets will take part in an inter-island challenge for the Tiger Trophy. The silver tiger was given to the Royal Jersey Militia when the Hampshire Regiment merged into the Princess of Wales Royal Regiment. It used to form part of the Officers’ Mess silverware and was one of a pair.
29 cadets from Guernsey and 60 from Jersey will take part in the weekend which will see a full military field camp established on the Castle Green. As well as drill, first aid and rifle competitions the cadets will battle it out to see who can complete the Castle Gun Challenge most accurately and in the quickest time, having been shown the drill only once by the Master Gunner, who is part of the 1781 Jersey Militia.
2nd Lieutenant Dominic Egré, Officer Commanding the Royal Jersey Militia Army Cadet Force, said: ‘This is an excellent opportunity for the cadets to put their training into practice. The Camp will give them a realistic taste of what it is like to be part of a major exercise as well as giving them valuable educational and life skills. It promises to be a very exciting weekend.’
As part of the activities a number of cadets will be undertaking part of their BTEC studies in military history, which includes the history of the Jersey Militia and fortifications within the Military Knowledge syllabus, so the weekend will form an ideal practical learning experience.
Doug Ford, Head of Community Learning at Jersey Heritage said: ‘Apart from the anti-aircraft guns fired during the Occupation there hasn’t been a shot fired in anger from Elizabeth Castle since the Battle of Jersey. Although there will be no real fighting this weekend, it will be really interesting, this weekend, to see how the cadets use the space as it was originally intended – as an army garrison.’
The event, which is being held on Saturday and Sunday, will be open to the public during normal Castle opening hours. On Sunday morning His Excellency Sir John McColl will visit the camp to see the cadets in action.