Cadets from the Past
CSM Izzie Tol (most senior cadet)
I began my CCF career in Year 10 when TWGGS CCF was still a part of the contingent at The Skinners’ School. Initially I joined out of both curiosity and defiance, the army and CCF was commonly perceived as a boys’ venture and it is in my nature to try to confute. However, I quickly discovered that being a part of the CCF was far more rewarding than I expected it to be. The experiences that I was able to take part in shaped the woman that I am today and would have been impossible to seek out elsewhere. During my years in the CCF I parachuted solo, lead the TWGGS drill squad at the Tunbridge Wells Memorial Parade, shot live rifles on a range, lead platoon attacks, established a CCF program for year 9s and helped to host TWGGS’ first military tattoo. During these experiences, I didn’t recognise the skills that I was acquiring however since leaving school I have called upon the integrity, pragmatism, discipline and teamwork skills on many occasions.
After leaving TWGGS I went onto study Medicine at Oxford University, where I am currently in my final year. I passed my final exams in January and at the moment I am working abroad, based at a Plastics and Reconstructive Surgery Hospital in Uganda and will soon go onto do Gynaecology in Brazil. After joining university, I tried to seek out the Officers’ Training Corps however much to my disappointment, a diagnosis of asthma meant that I was not able to join. Instead I sought adventure in other places, I joined a student ambulance team, where I responded to emergencies before paramedics; taught sex education in local secondary schools; volunteered with the organ retrieval team to collect organs from donors; published three scientific papers and presented my research at conferences. I have challenged myself in every domain and much of that is due to the motivation and ambition instilled in me from my time in the CCF.
In August I begin work as a Junior Doctor and as I move into the next stage of my life, I am sure that I will continue to use the skills that I acquired in the CCF. My main piece of advice to girls who are considering joining the CCF or are already a part of it is to put everything into it. The more that you give, the more you will get in return. More picture of legends here