On Wednesday 15 May, HRH The Duke of Gloucester, KG, GCVO, SFI, inspected both Bedford Modern School and Bedford School’s Combined Cadet Forces (CCF). The event marked the Centenary of King George V’s visit to Bedford to inspect both Bedford School and Bedford Modern School’s Officer Training Corps’ on 27 June 1918.
The event was the first time both Contingents have formally paraded together since 1918 and took place in the Bedford School grounds. The parade was observed by dozens of spectators, including Headmasters and Principals from Bedford Modern School, Bedford School, Bedford Girls School, Rushmoor, St Andrews and Bedford Free School.
The Duke of Gloucester is a grandson of George V and a first cousin to The Queen. The Duke has many patronages, but of particular interest is his role as Colonel in Chief of the Royal Anglian Regiment as the BMS CCF Army Section is Royal Anglian badged and can trace its lineage to the modern 2nd Battalion Royal Anglian Regiment.
Speaking after the visit, HM Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire, said: “It was wonderful to welcome HRH The Duke of Gloucester to Bedford School during his three-part visit to the county of Bedfordshire. The Inspection of the Cadets was very impressive and it was particularly pleasing that HRH was able to unveil a plaque in the Memorial Hall where his late Father, HRH Prince Henry KG, stood in 1926. It was clear that the staff and students at all the schools involved were proud to demonstrate the high standards they achieve.”
BMS Contingent Commander, Alex Smith, added: “It was a great honour to parade in front of His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester today. The fact that we were able to celebrate the good works of the Cadet Forces with a member of the Royal Family will stick in the minds of all who took part for many years to come.”