At a recent lecture given by Dr Mike Morrogh on the history of Shrewsbury School during the First World War, he showed a photograph of members of the Shrewsbury School OTC (Officer Training Corps) practising a mock charge down a nearby hill. It was taken on Field Day 1915.
To mark the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War, some dozen cadets from Shrewsbury School’s Combined Cadet Force (the CCF replaced the OTC in 1936) have now re-enacted this photograph as a powerful reminder of the sacrifice made by Salopians during the First World War.
Lt Colonel Nick David writes of the event: ‘We have good contacts with RAF Shawbury and I made a request to their Station Commander, Group Captain Alastair Smith, who was very supportive. Arrangements were put in place to fly the pupils out from School (I had previously walked the area in an attempt to locate the original photo spot) and land an aircraft on the Lawley – the hill where we thought the original event took place. On the day itself, Thursday 24th April, we flew a dozen cadets out from Shrewsbury School grounds and the cadets had an excellent afternoon attempting, as closely as possible, to simulate the original photo, in modern British service uniforms.”
Cadet Staff Sergeant Oliver Pattison-Appleton (who takes centre stage as the smiling cadet in the modern photo) said of the event: “This was a good chance not only to do something a bit different on a Thursday afternoon with the CCF, but also to give an insight into the history of the Shrewsbury School CCF, the sort of training Salopians did at the time of WW1, and a stark reminder of what happened to many after their time in the Shrewsbury School OTC. For us all it was a chance to be a part of Shrewsbury history.”
To view a short film about the 1915 photograph and the CCF's re-enactment, made by Oliver Lansdell (PH V) on behalf of the student-run filming group Shrewsbury School TV, please click on the image below: