Two new school trophies have been presented to the Combined Cadet Force by Mr Bob Blake. They are to be known as the Buchanan and Townsend Trophies, and will be awarded annually to the cadets, Army and RAF, who have contributed most to Contingent life.
The Buchanan Trophy will be presented to a senior Army cadet, in memory of Captain Angus Buchanan VC, who fought in WWI. After being awarded the Military Cross, Captain Buchanan subsequently went on to win the Victoria Cross in an operation in Mesopotamia on 5th April 1916.
Captain Buchanan won the VC for most conspicuous bravery. During an attack, an officer was lying out in the open, severely wounded. Two men went to his assistance, one of them was hit and Captain Buchanan immediately went out. With the help of the other man he carried the wounded officer to cover under heavy machine gun fire. He returned and brought in the other wounded man, again under heavy fire.
Angus Buchanan from the Forest of Dean had been a schoolboy at Monmouth. Noted for his athletic and academic prowess, he became Head Boy at the school. He was blinded in the war but nevertheless went on to study at Jesus College, Oxford. He rowed for the College and became a solicitor in Coleford.
The Townsend Trophy will be presented to a senior RAF cadet, in memory of Flight Sergeant W. C. (Bill) Townsend CGM DFM, who flew bombers in WWII. As part of 617 Squadron Bill Townsend flew Lancaster ED-886 codenamed OJ – O for Orange in the famous dambuster raid of May 1944. He was awarded the Conspicuous Gallantry Medal for his courageous actions in the raid.
Flight Sergeant Townsend Flew his bomber and crew in the third wave of the famous raid. After the first two dams (Mohne and Eder) were breached, O for Orange was tasked to attack the Ennepe Dam. With no anti-aircraft firing at them, they had time to do three trial runs before they released their bomb, but it failed to damage the dam. Forced to fly back at tree top level by enemy action, his Lancaster was the last to return. It limped home short of one engine.
Bill Townsend was later promoted to Flight Lieutenant. He had been a pupil at Monmouth and after the war studied at Lincoln College, Oxford. He became a businessman and a civil servant after his studies.