The Upper Warden and Past Master Richard Gallyon represented the Company at the Visitors’ Day of the annual camp of City of London & North East Sector Army Cadet Force held at Thetford in August. The Worshipful Company of Gunmakers is one of a number of Livery Companies which support the cadets and there were also present, among others, the Masters and Wardens of the: Ironmongers; Tax Advisers; Wax Chandlers; Tyler’s and Bricklayers; Cordwainers; Basketmakers; and the City Pageantmaster, Dominic Reid (Grocer). The honorary colonel presiding was John Power (Fletcher). The Mayors of Redbridge and Havering were also there to present certificates of competence.
We also had the opportunity to meet and talk to the current Major General of Reserves and Cadets who is a successor to our own Liveryman the Duke of Westminster. As a Norfolk man involved in agriculture, he had much in common with Past Master Gallyon.
We support no 2 (of 3) Company of the Sector and the day was spent with a presentation about the activities of the cadets including: a drill competition; motorcycle display (cadets who had no more than 6 weeks’ experience of motorcycles); a raucous tug of war competition between the companies and displays of signalling; climbing walls, first aid; food rations and camping kit and firearms. This was followed by a prize giving, where we presented a trophy and prize to the best full-bore shot of no 2 Company, this year it was Cadet Curley badged as Life Guards (cadet). The Cadets from all over our Sector are locally badged with many different regiments and show great pride in their affiliations.
It was demonstrated to the visitors the immense benefit the cadets get from membership — many of whom regrettably come from deprived backgrounds, but gain great self-discipline and confidence from the cadet movement and many join the services later. The ability to learn and handle firearms is one of the several incentives for joining.
One might ask how the visitors fit in with all this. There is no doubt at all that all volunteer officers and NCOs, as well as cadets much appreciate the interest and support of the connection to the City Liveries. For the officers, we provide opportunities to broaden their connections; for the cadets, we provide evidence that the world is watching their efforts and cares about their achievements. For several years, now, our Livery has increased its involvement with the Services under our military liaison officer, Past Master Brigadier Paul Cort. The two other army units supported are the Light Dragoons and School of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering.