For the first time in the School’s history this year’s team have won the coveted Sir Steuart Pringle Trophy being crowned overall winners at the competition held at the Commando Training Centre Royal Marines at Lympstone, Devon.
The Pringle Trophy is the annual competition between all Royal Marine CCF detachments from schools throughout the UK. It is named after Lt General Sir Steuart Pringle, a former Lieutenant General and Commandant General of the Royal Marines. On 17 October 1981, he was the victim of a booby-trap car-bomb blast and suffered severe injuries, including the loss of a leg.
The competition is directed by a team of Royal Marine instructors, who set a ruthless pace and look for the same levels of proficiency and purpose as they would in regular commandos; a gruelling 48-hour event that pushes to the limit the physical stamina, determination and teamwork of the cadet teams. The two days of the competition begin well before dawn at 04:30 and keep the cadets busy late into the evenings.
Military skills assessed include navigation, weapon handling, camouflage and concealment, sniper stalk, battle skills and combat medicine. Having changed camouflage gear for parade uniform, teams are then tested on their turnout, drill and knowledge of the history and traditions of the Royal Marines. To memorise and execute a 15 minute series of drill moves under the scrutiny of a commando drill instructor is a severe test of self-discipline and teamwork.
The final and most demanding challenge is the infamous commando endurance course. This test of physical fitness, strength and sheer grit is the very same course used by regular Royal Marines Commandos, with a punishing combination of ropes, ditches, walls and tunnels. It also includes the notorious ‘sheep dip’ through cold, icy water and the claustraphobic 'smarties tubes' an ultimate test of strength and tenacity.
The Pringle Trophy is the most prestigious event in the Royal Marine CCF year and competition is always fierce but RHS put in a clear win by being 23 points of runners-up Winchester College.
Thanks go to all the CCF staff and teachers involved in the training and for their support and a huge congratulations to the winning team: Ben Willis (I/C), Ben Aralampulam (2I/C), Harry Pugh, Tom Cornock, Thomas Ralph, Harvey Crallan, Charlie France, Conor Ryan and Felix Shepherd.