The Pringle Trophy is the annual competition between all Royal Marine CCF Detachments from schools throughout the UK and marks the culmination of all the previous 12 months of work and training. Directed by a team of RM instructors who set a ruthless pace and look for the same levels of skill, determination and teamwork as they would in regular Commandos, the gruelling competition takes place over two days on Woodbury Common, the training ground for the Royal Marines near Lympstone in Devon.
2nd Lt Tom Corbett was delighted with the boys’ performances:
“Saturday’s set of ten stances began better than last year, with the cadets making their way to the first stance on time. (Last year they got lost as they stepped off the minibus!) They made their way through all ten stances, gaining many plaudits from the Commando training staff along the way. One Corporal exclaimed: “I almost dropped all my paper work and ran down and joined them. That was so good!” However, some critical points were dropped in the Leadership stance and the Camouflage and Concealment, with the Head of School being spotted hiding in the undergrowth within five seconds of the stance starting!
“Nevertheless, they held their good form through Sunday morning, looking immaculate for the Drill stance. The Physical Serial involved the re-introduction of the infamous Endurance Course. The Cadets ran well through underwater tunnels, rivers, peat bogs and trenches to post the fastest time. Bertie Gilliat-Smith looked a ghostly shade of white as he emerged from the smallest underwater tunnel!
“During the prize giving the team knew they were on the edge of success, as Shrewsbury School appeared more times than any other school as individual stance winners. However, hopes for an overall victory were dashed at the last, as our overall average was just lower than that of Canford’s, with Canford scoring 192 to Shrewsbury’s 188. Nevertheless, the team can feel justifiably extremely proud of their Runners-Up Trophy and the four stance trophies they won.”
The team were: John Dempsey, Bertie Gilliat-Smith, Rob Hartwell, Will Hayward, Guy Morris, James Plaut, Ben Remnant, Alex Shaw, Chris Thomas.