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Ceylon Cadet Corps History

Ceylon Cadet Corps History

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Published by Anton Edema
Though this Corps has a history over 100 years none of its members had taken any effort to write the true history .We made an effort so that they will get motivated to improve this.
Though this Corps has a history over 100 years none of its members had taken any effort to write the true history .We made an effort so that they will get motivated to improve this.

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Categories:Types, Research, History
Published by: Anton Edema on Mar 05, 2010
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08/24/2010

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Ceylon Cadet Corps
CEYLON CADET CORPS – HISTORY THROUGH THE AGES
By Brigadier AER AbeyesingheCompiled by Major Anton Edema
The Colonial Period 1881 to 1949
In 1881 a Volunteer Unit was formed under the aegis of Royal College, Colombo, forthe purpose of promoting discipline among students by doing drill – the principlerole of this endeavorur being the training of youth to become law abiding and usefulcitizens in the community at larger by instilling in them a keen sense of disciplineand responsibility; and the capacity to lead and to follow, and to command andobey. The values of drill has been commented on by Lord Gort of the Grenadiers, in1917, as “in peacetime training eh great thing is Drill. No doubt you want somethingto help you over your fears and if you can get control over your nerves, as you do indrill, it helps largely and helps to drive men forward in war…… the feeling of unionism of moving together – is a great help, and this is got by training – Drill”.Since 1902 a movement was initiated to set afoot a Cadet Battalion recruit fromschools to be attached to the Ceylon Light Infantry. Companies were formed atRoyal, St. Thomas and Wesley College in Colombo, Trinity and Kingswood Collegesin Kandy, and Richmond College in Galle. Officers were selected from teachers andsenior students. It is said that military discipline was so evident that the Principal of Royal College, who was a Private in Ceylon Planter’s Rifle Corps, would salutestudent Lieutenants whenever they appeared in uniform! In time, 17 SchoolContingents were affiliated to the Ceylon Light Infantry. The Cadet Battalion first identified as CB-CLI in 1910, was later reorganized in 1920as the Ceylon Cadet Battalion with two divisions, under the Ceylon Defence Force. The Junior Division which had school cadets between the ages of 12-16 yearsformed into Companies commanded by teachers. The Senior Division whichconsisted of those teaching 16 years of age, formed Passed Cadet Companies of theCeylon Light Infantry, commanded by officers seconded from the Ceylon LightInfantry.In accordance with the Ceylon Defence Force Regulations, Cadets were not calledout on Active Service. Further, the junior Division of Cadets did not form part of theCeylon Defence Force, but was only affiliated to the Ceylon Cadet Battalion; andwas funded by the Education Department of the Government.For lack of authentic records available at the time of writing, the training curriculumof the Cadet Battalion during the colonial period cannot be commented on, savenoting that individual training was been conducted in school under the supervisionof officers at the school, and collective training of the Battalion was conductedCompiled by Major Anton Edema
 
Ceylon Cadet Corpsannually; initially at Urugasmanhandiya, and later at Diyatalawa. The junior Divisionheld its Annual Training Camps at Boossa, in Galle.Senior Cadets of the Ceylon Cadet Battalion have been trained to handle and fireboth the .22 and .303 calibre rifles, and there is evidence that teams of selectedcadets have competed on equal terms with adults in open rifle shootingcompetitions, and proved their mettle by winning trophies at one time of another. The association Battalion officers had with defence duties during World War I isobscure; however officers of the Cadet Battalion were attached on Active Service tothe Ceylon Light Infantry during World War II. When World War II terminated and theCeylon Defence force commenced reorganizing itself to peacetime strength, aColonel of the Cadet Battalion officiated as the Commandant of the Ceylon DefenceForce.
THE DOMINION PERIOD 1949 to 1972
In 1949, with other units of the reorganized Ceylon Defence Force, the Ceylon CadetBattalion, comprised of school teachers and school boys, and geared to a noncombatant role, became a constituent Unit of the Volunteer Force of the CeylonArmy.In 1950, the Ceylon Cadet Battalion was reorganized into two battalions andredesignated as the Ceylon Cadet Corps, and it pushed itself to expand – to live itsrole of training its members to be law abiding citizens in the community by instillingin them a sense of discipline and responsibility, and a capacity to lead and to obey;and, simultaneously provide a disciplined and responsible feeder base of schoolleavers with limited rudimentary military knowledge, as prospective candidates forselection as Officer Cadets and recruits in the country’s Armed Services. The 1
st
Battalion initially had its headquarters ad Kalutara, and the 2
nd
Battalion hadits Headquarters in Kandy. In 1953 3
rd
Battalion was raised in Colombo, and the 1
st
Battalion was relocated in Galle. A 4
th
Battalion was raised in 19634 at Kurunegala;and the 5
th
Battalion in 1968, at Anuradhapura. Though performing a non Combatant role, the Ceylon Cadet Corps held a peculiarlyunique position in the Ceylon Volunteer Force during this period; in that, since 1968,it was the only Regiment comprised of five Battalions commanded by a RegimentalCommander, among the integrant units of the Volunteer Force – and perhaps alsothe largest single unit of the Ceylon Army at the time!All school Cadets were not called out on Active Service; and the Junior Division of the Ceylon Cadet Corps was no part of the Ceylon Volunteer Force of the CeylonArmy, but was only affiliated to the Ceylon Cadet Corps, and was funded by theMinistry of Education, This status quo remained until the junior Division wassubsequently disbanded years later.Compiled by Major Anton Edema
 
Ceylon Cadet CorpsWhile Officers commissioned into the Ceylon Cadet Corps received such levels of initial training compatible with that imparted to Officer Cadets of Arms and ServiceUnits of the Volunteer Force; Senior Cadets, apart from training in Drill with andwithout Arms, received only rudimentary military training in subjects such asweapon training on the .22 and .303 Calibre rifles, Field Craft, Map Reading andFirst Aid. Cadets of the Junior Division were not inducted into rudimentary militarysubjects. The main aspects of their curriculum of training were, Physical Training,Drill, Firing the .22 calibre rifle and First Aid. Training programmes were drawn upby Regular Force Officers of the permanent Staff of the Corps. Training of Cadetsunder Supervision of their own Platoon Officers was carried out at School level twiceweekly; and once monthly training was conducted under the supervision of permanent staff. Collective Training at battalion level was conducted at the CeylonVolunteer Force Camp, Diyatalawa. Coveted Challenge Trophies were presentedannually to the best platoon in the Senior and the Junior Division; which made thepreparation and competitions for overall efficiency very keen and enthusiasticthroughout all Platoons. As time went by, Battalions of the Corps raised Western orOriental Band Platoons, and as they grew in numbers and skills, the Band Platoonscompeted for the challenge Trophies special to them.School Cadets and their Officers paraded to provide Guards of Honour to VIPPvisiting their schools and institutions; and participated in the annual IndependenceDay Armed Services Parade.Ceylon Cadet Corps Officers have amply demonstrated their combat preparedness,initiative, and their administrative and professional capabilities as teachers during adiversity of national emergencies and other exigencies, when attached on ActiveService to Units and institutions of the Regular and Volunteer Forces of the CeylonArmy. Two separate episodes during this period have gratified the Ceylon Cadet Corps. The majority out of the very first batch of ten prospective officer cadets selected forthe Regular Force of the nascent Ceylon Army; and sent to England fortraining at the Mons Officer Cadet School in Aldershot and thereafter the RoyalMilitary Academy in Sandhurst in 1949, were one time Senior Cadets who cut theirteeth on rudimentary military training in the Ceylon Cadet Battalion. Two of themwent on to command the Sri Lanka Army later. In Pioneer Corps of the VolunteerForce, and be its first Commanding Officer, which appointment he held for fiveyears.
THE REPUBLICAN PERIOD 1972 -
In 1979 The Sri Lanka Cadet Crops raised its 6
th
Battalion in Diyatalawa. In 1981 theCorps commemorated the Centenary of its raising with many celebratory events. The Corps whose origins in 1881 were a small band of students and teachers in oneschool; had, at its Centenary, six battalions comprised of ninety five Senior CadetCompiled by Major Anton Edema

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