Officer cadets from across the East Midlands joined His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester KG GCVO on March 11 to mark a special centenary.
His Royal Highness was the guest of honour at an event at The University of Nottingham, celebrating 100 years since the foundation of the then University College Nottingham Officer Training Corps (OTC) — now the East Midlands Universities OTC.
More than 70 officer cadets took part in a parade and service of commemoration in the Trent Building quadrangle. His Royal Highness then unveiled a plaque to mark the centenary of the OTC and the contribution made by its members to the nation’s armed forces over the last century.
The East Midlands branch dates back to April 1909, when a number of students from University College Nottingham petitioned the University’s Senate Council to form an OTC unit. Their petition was accepted by the War Secretary — the equivalent of today’s Ministry of Defence — and later that same year, the University College Nottingham OTC unit was formed.
Hundreds of students have joined the unit in the years since, including many who served in the First and Second World Wars. The names of those who died in these conflicts are recorded on a plaque in the University’s Trent Building.
The East Midlands OTC is staffed by a mixture of officers from the Regular Army and the TA. It comes under the aegis of 49th Brigade (East) based at Chilwell and its activities are supervised by the East Midlands Combined Universities Military Education Committee (MEC), which includes members from all seven constituent universities.
Dr Roy Bradshaw of The University of Nottingham’s School of Geography, Chairman of the East Midlands Universities MEC, said: “The East Midlands possesses one of the leading OTC units in the country. Much of this success is due to the quality, commitment and hard work put in by the students themselves. Given a worthwhile challenge and the right support they have proved capable of performing to the very highest standards. They are a credit both to their unit and to the region’s universities.”
Reconstituted in the early 1970s to take in the whole region, the East Midlands OTC is made up of students from seven universities: De Montfort University, the University of Derby, the University of Leicester, the University of Lincoln, Loughborough University, The University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University. Currently there are 212 students from these universities serving with the OTC.
It is one of the most successful OTC units in the country, and regularly provides more officer cadets to Sandhurst than the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge and London combined. In various sporting and outdoor activities it has performed extremely well — out-performing units from the Royal Marine Commandos and the French Foreign Legion in recent competitions such as long-distance route marches and three-day military exercises.
The officer cadets marched on parade before a service of commemoration and a short address by His Royal Highness.
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Notes to editors: this press release was updated on March 11.