These events vary from celebrating Regimental Days (honouring specific historic battles), fundraising to support our veterans and their families (Royal British Legion, ABF The Soldier’s Charity etc), conducting Battlefield Studies to educate our cadets and CFAVs, all culminating with the Remembrance Services held in November across the nation.
In 2018, my 14th year of volunteer service as a CFAV, I realised that I had not yet participated in a Battlefield Study and equally there hadn’t been a Sector (County) led one for nearly a decade. As it was the Centenary year of the Armistice (WW1), those fours words came to mind and I knew that this was an opportunity to change those facts not only for myself but for the cadets within COLNES ACF.
With this new personal goal, I set out to plan not only my first Battlefield Study but my first overseas activity as well! I sought authority to plan from all the relevant departments and Ex Armistice 2019 was founded; A four-day Battlefield Study to commemorate the signing of the Treaty of Versailles on June 28th 1919, endling the conflict of World War One.
44 cadets and 5 CFAVs travelled to Belgium and France, they saw first-hand the battlefields on the Western Front, was immersed in an interactive experience at the Memorial Museum Passchendaele, participated in the Menin Gate Ceremony and visited the Armistice Museum in the Forest of Compiègne. Our final day was in Paris; starting off with some crepes at the Eiffel Tower, concluding at the Palace of Versailles and the Hall of Mirrors.
This experience from concept to reality, would be one that I would recommend to another CFAV without hesitation – was it easy? No, but nothing worth doing is easy! Whilst on our trip, one of my cadets wrote a poem during their downtime;