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Reserve Forces & Cadets Association
Northern Ireland



24 March 2016

Local Army Cadets had a big surprise on a recent visit to London when His Royal Highness the Duke of Cambridge stopped to speak with them.  The Cadets from Ballygowan, Donaghadee and Gransha Detachments of 2nd (NI) Bn ACF had the honour of meeting the Duke as they took part in the Irish Guards Saint Patrick’s Day Celebrations at their Barracks in London.

A group of 30 cadets and 6 Instructors took part in Exercise Shamrock Venture over the period of 16th to 19th March.  They enjoyed 3 days in London visiting various attractions including a tour of the Houses of Parliament and witnessing the Ceremony of the Keys at the Tower of London.  The main event however was the Saint Patrick’s Day Shamrock Parade with the Irish Guards.  It was after the parade had finished and just as the group was getting ready to disperse and leave that the Duke of Cambridge came over to speak with the Cadets and Staff.


The Duke asked many what was their favourite part of being an Army Cadet and what activities they liked taking part in.  As a former Cadet himself, the Duke was able to relate to the Cadets’ experiences and was very impressed with the turnout, manners and attitude of the Cadets from Northern Ireland.  He took particular interest in their trip and was amazed at the many activities and visits that the group would be covering over their 3 days in London.  

Before leaving the Duke thanked the Group’s Leader Company Sergeant Major Gareth Townley for the effort that all the Instructors present put in to give the Cadets the best experience possible and help them achieve so much.  After this magical experience, it was quite appropriate that the Cadets’ next visit that afternoon was to the Harry Potter Experience!  The remainder of the trip was spent visiting many of the different activities and attractions in the London area ranging from a rib tour of the Thames to a Ghost Bus Tour of London by night. 

All the Cadets and Instructors involved in the visit are extremely grateful to 1st Battalion Irish Guards, South West London ACF and Bedfordshire & Hertfordshire ACF for all their support to make this visit possible and are already looking forward to next year.