On Tuesday 14 March 2016, Freddie Bearn, Jacob Dufton, Mr Eastham and the Rev Hugh Bearn made a trip down to London to visit the Honourable Artillery Company and Chelsea Hospital. The Honourable artillery company was incorporated by Royal Charter in 1537 by King Henry VIII and is considered one of the oldest military organisations in the world and today the Regiment has an exacting role, deploying patrols in the forward battle area to gather intelligence and identify targets for long-range weapons. We made the journey to gather ceremonial blues uniform, that will be worn by the CCF Drum Corps, for the DSM and for this year’s bass drummer, and is another demonstration of the close links that the BGS CCF have with the army and it’s continuing alliance shows great promise for the future. The Blues uniform is a fantastic recent addition to the CCF Drum Corps and allows the school to present the Lancashire Fusiliers with the respect and dignity they deserve.
We also made our way to the famous Royal Hospital Chelsea, a retirement and nursing home for some 300 veterans of the British Army. It is a 66-acre site located on Royal Hospital Road in Chelsea, London. It is an independent charity and relies partly upon donations to cover day-to-day running costs to provide 21st-century care and accommodation for veterans. We visited the establishment as the school has links with the Hospital, as General Sir William Fawcett, the governor from 1796 to 1804, was an old boy of Bury Grammar School and He was appointed Adjutant-General to the Forces in 1781: in this role he was involved in introducing Regulations for the Heavy Infantry and then for the Cavalry. We went around the facility on a guided tour and met several veterans and saw the continuing development of the hospital to accommodate the vets in a 21st century environment and to accommodate soldiers who had fought in more recent convict. The trip was an excellent example of how far the school’s influence reaches and how much pride can be felt by the old boys who served in any war and the future continued connection to the military, that has been a strong element of the school for generations and one that should never be diminished.