The Cadet Forces

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The Army Cadet Force traces its origins to the Volunteer movement of 1859-60. Cadet units for boys, aged 12 and upwards, in schools and in the community, began in 1860. As an example, 40 cadets from the 1st Surrey Rifle Volunteer Corps were in a parade of 1000 cadets at Crystal Palace in 1861. The Officers’ Training Corps (OTC) was established in 1908 and cadets in schools transferred to the OTC, which later became the Combined Cadet Forces. In 1910 a new Cadet Force was started under the County Territorial Force Associations, forerunners of the Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Associations. The modern Army Cadet Force (ACF) was founded in 1942 and cadets were aged between 12 and 18, but during the Second World War , over 17s were expected to join the Home Guard.

Over the years, cadets in different regions of the South-East and London have worn forebear regiments’ cap-badges. The PWRR cap-badge is still worn by Army cadets and members of the Combined Cadet Forces in areas of London and the counties of the South-East. Surrey ACF is the only complete county that wears the cap-badge.