Inaugural Dan Clack Trophy
In 2011 Bancroft’s CCF suffered a double tragedy as two former members were killed while serving in Afghanistan, L/Cpl Paul Watkins, 9th/12th Royal Lancers (Prince of Wales’s), and Lt Dan Clack, 1st Battalion the Rifles.
Dan’s family wanted a lasting memorial of his time in the CCF. A member for five years, he rose to be senior cadet and the CCF played a significant part in his life. The annual camp inter section competition was named the Lt Dan Clack competition and the first competition was held this year at annual army camp at Napier Barracks.
Ninety-eight cadets in nine sections tackled the demands of nine strands: a casualty evacuation, the DCCT, the obstacle course, a command task, a military history quiz and fitness test, an orienteering course, two first aid stands and a “Kims game” spotting of objects in a wood. The winning section was commanded by C/Sgt Luke Hammond who writes:
The inaugural Dan Clack trophy competition was a big event for the section commanders at this year’s camp. There was a burning desire from all to be the first name on the trophy. Leading up to the competition, I knew I had a strong section. The younger members grew in confidence and an excellent team spirit grew within the section.
On the day, I could not have asked more from my section. From the start, each member put in a monumental effort , with sweat and tears and cadets conquering fears. Amongst the challenges, the most memorable were the obstacle course and the first aid stands. On the Obstacle course one cadet, who despite being petrified of heights, climbed the A-frame and scaled the rope bridge, so we did not exceed our limit of passes on obstacles and thus lose points. The first aid stand showed the teamwork of my section. Everyone stuck to their task, remembered what they had been taught and dealt with the “casualties” superbly. The sublime effort was shown when we scored maximum points possible.
At the final parade, Lt Col Bromfield read a message from Dan Clack’s mother which put the true meaning of this trophy into words. It was a extremely emotional message about her son and what the CCF had meant to him, which put a lump in everyone’s throat. Most present were too young to have known Dan Clack, but everyone felt proud to be in the same contingent as Dan had been.
When the winners were announced, my pride in being the first name on the trophy was all over my smiling face. It will be one of the great memories of my school life.