12th October 2018 — Several members of Pangbourne College’s CCF Royal Marine section recently excelled at the annual Sir Steuart Pringle Trophy, finishing third overall and winning the Drill section.
The group of nine students was accompanied by Contingent Commander Major Colin Hearn and Captain Luke Wynell-Mayow as they ventured to the Commando Training Centre Royal Marines in Lympstone, near Exeter, Devon. The event, which has become increasingly competitive and prestigious over time, pits schools which have a Royal Marine section against each other. Each team completes a range of fieldcraft and tactics stances on the Saturday, followed by an endurance course on Sunday.
The Pringle Team this year produced the best performance for the College at the competition in nearly a decade. Lympstone’s Centre is home to the Royal Marines, one of the world’s most elite commando forces, and our students were put through their paces over the course of an intense weekend. The seven stances on Saturday included Contact Drills, Section Attack, First Aid and CASEVAC, Map Reading and Drill, the last of which proving to be Pangbourne’s stand-out event of the weekend.
Major Hearn commented on the Drill section, saying: “The work we do here [at the College] in terms of Parades and College Sundays does help and of course it feeds into it, but the Royal Marines Drill is quite different to the Naval Drill we do here. The halt is on a different foot, they salute differently, they march at a different pace - these intricacies can cause issues because our students are very used to the Naval Drill. They adapted admirably though!”
The structure of the competition means that teams are given points corresponding to the position they finish in each event, so to be successful overall, consistency is key across all aspects. Pangbourne’s success reflected this as our lowest finish in any event was eighth out of the 25 schools in attendance.
This consistency has been a significant focus for Major Hearn leading into the competition: “We have placed a huge emphasis on the preparation and the build up to this, it has become a really prestigious event over the years and one which we look forward to. Competing against schools such as Harrow, Rugby, Wellington - the field of schools is of a very, very high standard. “We punch way above our weight given the huge cohorts these schools have to pick from. We did brilliantly this year and we will be targeting great success in the years to come.”