Combined Cadet Force Press Release
As part of the Army’s OP Reflect, The King’s School Grantham decide to participate in the Woodland Trust WW1 Commemorative Project.
The Cadets decided they wished to plant some trees to commemorate the Centenary of the start of the 1st world war.
It was decided for the first part of our project to plant 4 Oak Trees in the village of East Keal near their War Memorial.
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This was to be one tree for each year of the War, in order to commemorate all who fell in the Great War in East Keal.
Our Contingent Commander Lt Col R M OGG carried out some research of the names of the fallen on the War Memorial and found there were 3 brothers who died in the war, Called Gibson, He then traced the Grandson of one of the Gibson brothers, a Councillor B Garlant, and invited Bob to attend the tree planting event.
On a beautiful Sunday morning, the Project began, cadets arrived in East Keal.
The cadets are pictured at the War Memorial with the 4 Oak Trees, the cadets being Cdt Sgt Major Cox, Cpl Marks, L/Cpl Smith E, L/Cpl Layhe, L/Cpl Kidd (RAF CCF Section) Cdts Mackin, Smith O, Swinbourne and Richards-Cole
As some of the soldiers who fell, belonged to the Lincolnshire Regiment, it was felt we should invite Soldiers of the Regiment that now has incorporated the Lincolnshire Regiment into their Regiment.
Three soldiers attended to help mark the occasion, Capt Charlie Monk, Cpl Cusick and L/Cpl Hodge all of 2 Royal Anglian, We also had our own retired soldier present who was part of 2 Royal Anglian SSI Pulfrey who is now the School's Staff Sgt Instructor.
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Before the trees were planted Cllr Garlant, showed the Death Plaque that was sent to his Grandmother following the death of his Grandfather. The cadets also then found his name on the War Memorial, this brought home to them the loss of all the soldiers in the first World War.
The trees were planted, and quietly all present, remembered the words: "At the going down of the sun, and in the morning, we will remember them." A wreath was laid.
Issued on behalf of:
The King's School,
Tel: (01476) 570485
Fax: (01476) 570485
CCF (Mob) 07914 968501
This is an update of further activity in 2016.
Operation Reflect 2016
After a very successful project in 2015, The King's School CCF Grantham decided to continue with the Operation Reflect project in conjunction with the Woodland Trust in late autumn 2016. Lt Col Ray Ogg met with the late Alec Coney Estates, and after discussion with Mrs Gillian Brown and son William Brown it was decided to plant some trees on their land at Glebe Farm, East Keal. William agreed the area and chose the new name that the tree planting area was going to be known as Auber's Ridge Wood. Auber's Ridge was an area in France where the Royal Lincolnshire Regiment fought and sustained heavy losses, and where Sgt Charles Sharpe a soldier in the Lincolnshire Regiment won a Victoria Cross on the 9th May 1915.
Lt Col Ray then approached the Royal Anglian Regiment to see if they would like to plant trees as well as the cadets, The CO, Olly Browne agreed, as did the new incoming CO Bruce Weston. More research followed and it was discovered that the Royal Anglian Regiment had a picture of Charles Sharpe VC. And even more astonishing was his Victoria Cross is held by South Kesteven District Council in Grantham. An approach was made to the South Kesteven District Council, and Councillor Bob Adams agreed, as leader of the Council to come and plant some trees, and bring the VC for soldiers to see at the new proposed Auber's Ridge Wood. The Lord Lieutenant of Lincolnshire Mr Toby Dennis and Lincolnshire County Councillor Mr Raymond Phillips agreed to come and plant trees as well.
The plan of campaign was for the Royal Anglian soldiers to plant trees on Day 1, with Councillor Adams bringing the Victoria Cross over, to put with the picture of Charles Sharpe VC. Day 2 would be the CCF cadets of the King's School Grantham, the Lord Lieutenant and Cllr Raymond Phillips planting trees and laying a wreath on the newly created Cairn. The Contingent Commander Lt Col Ray would attend on both days. Capt TDF Humphries TD retd built the newly created Cairn ready for the 2 day project and together with William Brown planned the area to be planted. Mrs Brown and family would attend too on both days. The Woodland Trust supplied the trees, many thanks to Colonel Frank Hewitt for help with the receipt and delivery of all the packages.
Day 1 arrived, 800 + trees had been sorted by Capt Tim and Lt Col Ray into their respective groups and areas that were going to be planted. We had an excellent selection of tree plants, Silver Birch, Common Hazel, Common Hawthorn, Blackthorn, English Oak and Rowan commonly known as Mountain Ash. The Rowan in Autumn will be covered with scarlet fruit, and its leaves will turn spectacular shades of orange, yellow and red before falling to the ground, a good tree for this particular location.
The Royal Anglian Soldiers, led by Capt Frankie Eaton, were L/Cpl Hazelwood, Privates O'Connor,Brittany, Istiaq, Alvy and Smith. They planted Silver Birch, English Oak, Common Hazel and Rowan trees together with Cllr Adams and paused only for photographs to be taken.
Mrs Brown and her daughter Mrs Plummer arrived, and it was decided that Grand daughter Florence, and Grandson Freddie ought to plant a tree that they could see grow up during their lifetime. 2 oaks were selected and a soldier of the Royal Anglian Regiment helped them plant the trees together with Bramble the dog. It was felt this act was very significant, although the children are too young to understand but the famous lines summed it up very well:
"When you go home, tell them of us, for your tomorrow, we gave our today."
Hopefully the children will visit the wood and remember the 100th year centenary and why the wood was created.
Day 2 arrived, The Sun came out, and the wind dropped, the Cadets of the King's School CCF namely Cameron Simmons, Tom Griffin,Luke Griffin, Taran Gurung, Konrad Sherwood, Benjamin Quiayle, Nitesh Shyam set to and started planting Hawthorn Tees around the Cairn area supervised by Flt Lt Catherine Barton and Flying Officer Mike Davis. A poppy was put on each plastic surround once the tree had been planted. The Lord Lieutenant, Mr Toby Dennis arrived and Councillor Raymond Phillips, they too joined in supervising trees being planted. A Wreath was laid by Mrs Gillian Brown the Landowner with the Lord Lieutenant, watched by CCF Cadets, Officers, and other guests. The new Auber's Ridge Wood had been constructed, creating a haven for wildlife, many footpath walkers had stopped to admire the work that had been completed and asked why the wood had been created. Operation Reflect and the Woodland trust was explained by cadets and soldiers on both days.
Finally the last tree was planted, the sun was beginning to go down, again a really poignant moment was felt:
"At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them."
After discussions with Will Brown it has been decided we will plant trees again in 2017 and 2018, thereby commemorating all of the 1914-18 war and remembering the 100th year anniversary, in conjunction with the Woodland Trust.
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