February 5th, 2021 marked the 80th anniversary of the Royal Air Force Air Cadets (RAFAC) which was formed by Royal Warrant of King George VI in 1941. As part of this celebration, RAFAC joined with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) to launch a research project commemorating the fallen from WWII. Over 58000 RAF and Air Force personnel are buried or commemorated in the UK and this project invited our cadets to learn about their lives. Given the large number of Old Campbellians who served in the RAF, and whose photos are visible in the Central Hall, a number of willing Combined Cadet Force (CCF) pupils stepped forward.
Participants were asked to identify an individual to research who could be an Old Campbellian, a family member, a member of the RAF who was buried in their local graveyard or a serviceman commemorated on their local war memorial. A representative of the CWGC met with CCF to discuss the project and identify resources to assist our pupils with their research.
Campbell College was the only Northern Ireland school CCF to take part in this initiative and special mention must go to the pupils who spent a considerable amount of time researching and preparing a presentation for submission on the person they had chosen to study
As well as the presentations being submitted to the CWGC, the Old Campbellian Society kindly agreed to judge the presentations and to provide a prize for the best project. All of the presentations were impressive and the standard of research was extremely high.
Dermot Parker (7467), OC Society Chairman offered the following remarks:
It gives me the greatest pleasure to congratulate those members of Campbell College CCF who participated in the recent CWGC project that explored the history of OCs who gave their lives during WWII. As a College we are inextricably linked to our military history and as a Society it is our duty to honour and remember those that made the ultimate sacrifice for others. Most of those managing the CCF do so in their own time and many are OCs. My thanks go also to them and I congratulate them for encouraging strong enthusiasm for such an important subject amongst a generation that can exist on computer games alone. The Society is more than willing to assist in projects such as these.
To the winner of the competition, George, Year 11 (Dobbin’s), it is hard to express just how impressed I was with the quality and level of detail of his entry. This was further enhanced when he took the time to visit Brian Bannister’s graveside and play a lament. George is a Campbellian who clearly has a bright future ahead of him. He and his parents should be very proud. On behalf of The Society and for those that went before us, I thank him.
Follow this link to view George's presentation on Brian Stanley Bannister DFC
CCF at Campbell – did you know?
The CCF at Campbell can trace its roots back to 1909 when Campbell was the first school in Ireland to form an Officer Training Corps (OTC). A total of 63 recruits joined in 1909 and sadly, a quarter of those perished in WW1.
The OTC became the Junior Training Corps in 1940 and in 1948 it was renamed the Combined Cadet Force (CCF). Since then, thousands of Campbellians have participated in cadet activities and we remain one of the largest and active contingents in Northern Ireland with three sections - Navy, Army and RAF.
Training is conducted in the extensive College grounds on a Wednesday and Thursday afternoon during the Christmas and Easter Terms, and once a term a Field Day is granted for members of the CCF to conduct specialist training throughout Northern Ireland.
Looking back on the tradition of Speech Day More...