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School drill competition judged by former students

Friday 12th May 2017

Students at the Duke of York’s Royal Military School in Dover displayed their marching and presentation skills at the school’s recent annual inter-house drill competition.

Staff Sergeant Chris McKechnie (Royal Signals), a former student, returned to judge the competition, accompanied by his colleagues Captain Sam McEvoy and Sergeant Andy Madden from 1st NATO Signal Battalion.

All pupils in years 9 to 13 took part on May 5, representing their respective houses: Marlborough, Wellington, Haig, Kitchener, Wolfe, Wolseley, Roberts. The entire school took part in a parade at the end of the day, led by the school's military band.

Marks were awarded in five categories: Inspection, Turnings, Quick Time, Slow Time and March Past. However, marks were deducted for any instances of dirty or poorly-pressed uniforms, loose belts, unclean brasses, grubby shoes, long or untidy hair, or incorrectly knotted ties.

The final prize-giving and reviewing officer was Brigadier Phil Kimber OBE, Commander 11 Brigade and a former student, who presented the drill competition shield to Isabella, Junior Under Officer of Marlborough House. Emilie, Junior Under Officer of Wolfe House received the Baroness Thatcher Sword of Honour for being judged best Junior Under Officer of the Year. Molly, Mitchell, Jessica, Elliot, Josh and Lewis were awarded good conduct stripes for best Year 8 student in each guard.

On the morning of the drill competition, a new School Honours Board to commemorate honours received by ‘Dukies’ – a name for current and past students –  since November 1918 was unveiled by Brigadier Phil Kimber OBE who also appears on the board.

Former students Geoff Ralph and Phil Harrington spearheaded the project which was funded by Kent County Council; the Bishop of Dover, Right Reverend Trevor Willmott blessed the School Honours Board.

Alex Foreman, the school’s Principal, said: “It was certainly a day of honours for winners of our drill competition and to commemorate Dukies who have honoured their country. And it was very pleasing to welcome back Dukies Staff Sergeant Chris McKechnie, to lead the judging and Brigadier Phil Kimber OBE to present the prizes. Our annual drill competition is a reminder of our long and rich military history, and it brings the school together for the most keenly contested event of the year which celebrates discipline and teamwork.”


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