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By SI Jordan Molyneux, GMACF County Shooting Team

This time of year is the pinnacle of Cadet Target Rifle Shooting with the Inter Service Cadet Rifle Meeting otherwise known as ISCRM held at the well-known Centenary Range on the National Rifle Association grounds at Bisley in Surrey, the home of British shooting.

Prior to the competition, the top 20 teams in the ACF attend a four-day pre-Bisley shooting and coaching course to help prepare Cadets and coaches.  Due to limited time on the range prior to the ISCRM we needed all the practice we could get!  This year GMACF had 10 Cadets attending, who left Holcombe Moor on Sunday 2nd July for the drive down to Surrey, where Pirbright Camp would be our home for the next eight days.

The week started off with a series of lectures and then straight onto the ranges firing at 100m, 300m, 500m and 600m.  Sadly, due to the excessive heat we had to stop training early on Wednesday though this didn’t put the teams off their game.

On Thursday, the final day of pre-Bisley, the teams took part in the Commonwealth Match to help coaches see how their teams worked in a timed shoot.  At this point, team selections were finalised.

Team A consisted of Cdt Sgt Anderson, Cdt Sgt Short, Cdt LCpl Wolstenholme and Cdt LCpl Marsland, coached by myself.  In Team B were Cdt LBdr Mason, Cdt LCpl Savery, Cdt Homes and Cdt Phillips, coached by 2Lt Chris Townson.  Cdt LCpl Davies and Cdt Lythgoe then took the role of team markers working for the duration of the competition in the butts marking the targets where the rounds landed, to allow the teams to adjust their sights after each shot.

After Lunch all the teams representing the Sea Cadets, Air Training Corps, Combined Cadet Force and the ACF – a total of 84 teams – descended on Bisley and Pirbright Camp

Friday started in earnest with a practice shoot at 300m, to ensure any last-minute sight adjustments and introduce the teams to how the competition would work from then on.  Straight after came the individual 300m Shoot and 600m Shoot, fighting the horrible wind on Centenary Range swirling from all directions.  Sadly, again because of the heat, the day was cut short and the Cadet Coached Shoot was cancelled (the Cadet Coached Shoot is where the Cadets coach each other, with no adult coaches are allowed on the firing point.

After another early start, Saturday started at a brisk pace with two shoots at 300m immediately followed by two shoots at 500m.  These shoots where for both the Frankfort Trophy and Patriotic Shield, each completion assessed by the combined scores at both 300m and 500m.  The combined scores from Saturday and the 600m shoot from Friday determine the rankings for the Cadet 100 award.  This is the overall ranking of all ACF Cadets.

Last year, we managed to get one firer in the top one hundred; this year the team achieved three top 100 places Cdt Sgt Short, Cdt Sgt Anderson and Cdt LCpl Wolstenholme placing 33rd, 83rd and 93rd respectively out of a total of 329 ACF Cadets – a glowing reflection of all the hard work put in by Cadets and adults alike and a just reward for all the freezing winter practices at Holcombe in January and February.  Saturday night saw the team enjoy a well-earned rest and recuperation with a visit to Pizza Hut!

Another early start on Sunday saw all the teams descending on Century Range for the last competition, the Watts Bowl, fired at 600m, the longest competition with 12 rounds fired by each team member, all of them counting to the final score.  The final shoot of the day was the Inter-Service Competition with teams of 8 Cadets from of all UK Cadet organisations and Canadian teams shooting against each other.

Straight after this, the Cadet 100 parade is held on the Range where the Cadets are presented with their Cadet 100 badges by senior ACF officers. The last thing to do before heading back home is the Butt Markers Parade where all the teams and coaches applaud all the Cadets who have spent the week working in the butts – it’s our way of saying thank you for all their hard work.

The competition was a huge success not only for the three who gained their Cadet 100 but for our younger members who were attending for the first time and whose shooting improved over the weekend.

As most of the team departed on the long journey home Cdt Sgt Short and Cdt Marsland stayed behind to participate in further competitions.  Cdt Sgt Short has been selected to travel to Canada for six weeks to participate in the Army Cadet Leadership Instructor Marksmanship course, attached to the Royal Canadian Army Cadet Force, while Cdt Marsland is staying at Bisley for a further two weeks to take part in the Cadet Imperial Competition.

I would like to say a big thank you to all the Cadets who took part as well as the staff – Lt Short, 2Lt Townson,  SI Bland, SI Gibb and SI Maunder for all their determined effort over the week.

Do you have what it takes to serve with GMACF, either as an Adult Volunteer or as a Cadet? Are you looking for an opportunity to work hard and develop new skills? If so, why not contact GMACF County HQ on 01204 512600.

 

Greater Manchester Army Cadet Force can also be found in other locations on the Internet 

… at our official ACF Web Page at:

https://armycadets.com/county/greater-manchester-acf/

… on Facebook at:

https://www.facebook.com/GreaterManchesterACF

… on Twitter at:

https://twitter.com/gmanacf

on YouTube at:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxPYwSoMWLE8hN8CBkdim0Q

on SoundCloud at:

https://soundcloud.com/gmacf-891255911

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By Cadet Bombardier Jamie Anderson, Bolton Detachment RA, 5 (Anzio) Company, GMACF

On the weekend of 20 – 23 October 2016 I attended the Cadet Inter-Services Skill at Arms Meeting CISSAM) at Bisley as part of GMACF’s County Shooting Team.  This was the third time I had been to Bisley but this was a new experience because on this weekend we used the L98A2 Cadet rifle, whereas previously I had used the Parker-Hale target rifle.

On arrival at Bisley we had a briefing giving us the details of when we had to get up, timings for breakfast and where to go after eating.  We then went to our rooms to sort them out and socialised with Cadets from other teams from around the country.

On the second day, straight after breakfast, we were put into our teams and then went to zero the weapons – in other words, adjust to our individual ways of using the sights. We  then did a practise shoot for the Advance to Contact Match and then went straight into the competition which lasted the rest of the weekend, completing a number of Matches on different ranges. I was amazed by the number of teams in the competition, drawn from counties from Scotland, Ireland and Wales as well as teams from Air Cadets and Sea Cadets.

In the intervals between matches, I would relax with the other Cadets and try to memorise the shoots.

Just a point to note – this was the first time for our County that the GP rifle had been used at Bisley, so for two of us to finish in the “Cadet 50” was an awesome achievement. As well as this, one of our team then qualified to be in the ACF Team to compete against the Sea Cadets, and the Air Cadets in the Inter-Service Competition and came second in that shoot.

Overall, my team of four won a Bronze medal as we came third in the ACF Competition.

The majority of the team members were attending Bisley for the first time – only myself  and one other team member had fired here previously and one of the Team has only been doing Cadets for a year – the Shooting Team Captain only spotted her talent at Annual Camp in August this year.

The final competition of the action-packed weekend was the Falling Plates, which is the traditional “fun” shoot – which doesn’t mean it’s not taken very seriously and it’s really competitive. Sadly, we got our come-uppance here by being knocked out in the second round so that was the end of our competition.

I really enjoyed my time as Bisley and hope to be back there again soon.

The GMACF CISSAM Team 2016

The GMACF CISSAM Team 2016

Our Bronze-winning Team. See how happy they are.

Our Bronze-winning Team. See how happy they are.

Do you have what it takes to serve with GMACF, either as an Adult Volunteer or as a Cadet? Are you looking for an opportunity to work hard and develop new skills? If so, why not contact GMACF County HQ on 01204 512600.

Greater Manchester Army Cadet Force can also be found in other locations on the Internet 

… at our official ACF Web Page at:

https://armycadets.com/county/greater-manchester-acf/

… on Facebook at:

https://www.facebook.com/GreaterManchesterACF

… on Twitter at:

https://twitter.com/gmanacf

on YouTube at:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxPYwSoMWLE8hN8CBkdim0Q

on SoundCloud at:

https://soundcloud.com/gmacf-891255911

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By Major Peter Hilton, HQ Company, GMACF

Additional Pictures by SMI Dougie Craddock, 1 (Minden) Company and SMI Chris Townson, 5 (Anzio) Company

As a training venue, the Cadet Training Centre at Holcombe Moor has come a long way in the last few years. At the start of the twenty-first century, despite its ideal location in the hills above Bury, the Camp itself was looking decidedly frayed around the edges with a collection of older buildings, erected at various stages in the Camp’s history ranging from wooden accommodation blocks for Other Ranks, through “The Bungalow”, which was officers’ accommodation and looked like it had been imported from some film-set from Agatha Christie’s era, to a new-build training wing. All that changed in 2005, when most of the site was flattened and the shiny new buildings put up which are now home to Greater Manchester Army Cadet Force. This formally opened in 2011 and investment has continued since with a new Indoor Range and an IT Suite being added.

A key feature of the Cadet Training Centre is the surrounding training area, which includes live-firing ranges, a shot gun range, an Obstacle Course and great expanses of dry training area (though “dry” is not always an appropriate description for this area), in which to prove – or disprove – navigation skills.

With all these facilities, the Camp is almost in continual use, not only at weekends when Cadets are its usual tenants, but also during the week. And it’s used by Regulars, Reservists, Cadets, emergency services and school groups for a wide variety of training and educational purposes too numerous to describe here.

May has been a typical month for the Centre and has witnessed different types of training in a single week-long period:

  • The County Shooting Team used the ranges for their preparation for the North-West Cadet Target Rifle Competition which will be held at Altcar at the end of May, though the Brigade Competition is not the team’s ultimate goal; instead, they hope to qualify for the Nationals to be held at Bisley later in the year and have been hard at work since January, braving all kinds of weather. They also conducted a Fun Shoot on the shot gun range
  • The rifle range was shared with the Shooting Team from 4 LANCS who were conducting final preparations for their own inter-unit competition
  • Meanwhile, 1 (Minden) Company was conducting expedition training for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Bronze Award. They had moved into the tented accommodation area and spent the weekend navigating the hills around the Training Centre
  • And, as these activities were taking place, County HQ was conducting an Induction weekend for prospective new Adult Volunteers
  • Finally, as all the above activities began to draw down on Sunday, instructors from Frimley Park, the ACF’s national training centre, began to move in, to conduct a week’s Small Arms Skills course for Adult Volunteers drawn from ACF counties across the UK.

Do you have what it takes to serve with GMACF, either as an Adult Volunteer or as a Cadet? Are you looking for an opportunity to work hard and develop new skills? If so, why not contact GMACF County HQ on 01204 881270.

Greater Manchester Army Cadet Force can also be found in other locations on the Internet 

… at our official ACF Web Page at:

https://armycadets.com/county/greater-manchester-acf/

… on Facebook at:

https://www.facebook.com/GreaterManchesterACF

… on You Tube at:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxPYwSoMWLE8hN8CBkdim0Q

 

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Cadet Lance Corporal Anais Nicholson, Sale Detachment, No 4 (Korea) Company, GMACF

By Major Peter Hilton, Press Officer, GMACF

The Commandant, Permanent Staff, Adult Volunteers and Cadets of Greater Manchester Army Cadet Force wish to extend their heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Cadet Lance-Corporal Anais Nicholson, who sadly passed away recently after a year-long battle with leukaemia. She was 17 years old.

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Cadet L Cpl Anais Nicholson

Anais was a founder member of the Cadet Detachment at Whalley Range High School before she transferred to the Sale Detachment, where she proudly wore the Mercian Regiment cap-badge.

She loved the sport and practical side of cadets e.g. fieldcraft, though her main love was the Shooting Team and she was equally adept with the Cadet GP and the Target Rifle. She said that she loved going away on shooting weekends “with people who felt like family”. She did have a hearty dislike of Map and Compass though, which she wrote off with the memorable quote “It’s too much like maths”.

Anais was first diagnosed with leukaemia shortly after her 16th birthday when she thought she’d caught a really bad cold. She underwent a course of chemotherapy and in November 2013 went into remission.  However, at the end of that year she relapsed. Despite the best efforts of the staff at Christie’s, Anais passed away on 22nd June 2014 with her family around her.

She was an enthusiastic, popular member of the GMACF family and in her memory, Adult Volunteers are raising money in the following ways to help in the ongoing fight against teenage cancer:

  • The Adult Staff of No 4 (Korea) Company will donate a day’s pay to help support the Young Oncology Unit at Christies Hospital in Manchester, where Anais was treated.
  • WO2 Chris Townson and Sergeant Sean Crompton of No 5 (Anzio) Company are competing in the Annual IRON MAN Competition in Bolton on Sunday 20th July; they have set up a web-link to raise charitable donations for the Teenage Cancer Trust. Chris was one of Anais’ County Shooting Instructors.

If you would like to support either of these charities, you can do so by visiting:

 

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