George Smalley (98-11F)
Saturday April 13th was an exceptionally proud and momentous day for the friends and family of George Smalley (98-11F). After completion of 44 weeks of intensive military and academic training, combined with adventurous training and sporting challenges, the Officer Cadet passed out from Sandhurst.
George took part in the Sovereign’s Parade in front of the Prime Minister, and now promotes to Second Lieutenant where he will be joining the Army Air Corps as a pilot.
Harry Aitchison (03-10B)
Harry graduated from the Warsash Marine Academy on Saturday 24 Jun 2017 after three years of study and sea-time as a Deck Officer. He intends to stay on at Southampton University to convert his Foundation degree in Maritime Operations to Full degree before serving as a Deck Officer within the merchant Navy.
Harry also rows for Southampton University Coalporters Club. Harry competes in single skulls, the double skulls with his Lithuanian international team mate, where they won the B finals, placing 7th in the country at the largest student regatta in Europe category MInt2x. The latest in his rowing exploits, he is the 2nd seat in the coxed fours competing in the Royal Henley Regatta this week; the first time since 1980 that Southampton University have qualified for the event.
Jasmine Brent (07-14F)
On the 10th May 2015, aged 19, I officially joined The Royal Navy. Since then, being in the military has provided me with a stable and structured career, not only financially but also the chance to gain lifelong skills and training that will stay with me long into the future. On completion of Phase 1 and Phase 2 training held at HMS RALEIGH, I began my shore based draft as a Writer based at HMS DRAKE where I was able to complete my Workplace Taskbook enabling me to go to sea. I have recently joined my first ship – HMS OCEAN, The Fleet Flagship of The Royal Navy.
My time spent at West Buckland School has helped me develop into a passionate and competitive netball player. Therefore I knew I had to attend the weekend of Royal Navy Netball Trials in September 2015 held at HMS NELSON in Portsmouth. After 2 days of intense fitness tests, match play and deliberation, I was called in to the selection panel consisting of three highly experienced Netball Coaches, where I was given the good news that I had been successful in making the final cut; also highlighting that I was the youngest player to be selected into the squad.
The next upcoming challenge for the Navy Netball Team was the Inter-Services Competition held every March involving the Navy, Army and the RAF who all take their turn hosting this event at various military bases around the country. After months of vigorous training and preparation the Navy Netball Squad won the 2016 Inter-Services Competition for the first time in 23 years.
To continue an outstanding year for Navy Netball we went on a two week Tour to Fiji. Whilst we were out there, we had the opportunity to play against various standards of Fijian Teams – including our toughest game against the Fijian Army where we narrowly lost but I say that we were still acclimatising and suffering from jet lag. As part of our schedule, out of training hours, we visited local schools and orphanages to help coach and interact with the younger and disadvantaged children; this was an experience I will never forget.
What seemed like a very daunting prospect joining The Royal Navy, has turned out to be the best decision I have made and would highly recommend it as a career choice
Matthew Login (00-09B)
Matthew Login attended West Buckland between 2000 and 2009 and was a part of Brereton House. As a boarder throughout, with parents living overseas for most of that time, Matthew enjoyed a multitude of pastimes and sports at the School. He was a keen member of the CCF and regular competitor in the National Schools Shooting Competition at Bisley. He also achieved the Bronze, Silver and Gold Duke of Edinburgh awards and completed the 35, 45 and 55 mile Ten Tors challenges over the years. He was a regular rugby player receiving colours for his efforts in the front row; but, his preferred sport was swimming and he went on to Captain the School Swimming team in his Sixth Form. After completing his A-Levels Matthew gained a place at the University of Exeter to read Exercise and Sport Science (BSc). He thoroughly enjoyed his time at university, and alongside his degree, he was a committed member of the Rowing Club, he competed for the 1st VIII at the British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS) events at the Henley Royal Regatta and he coached hundreds of Novice rowers to success. Subsequently, Matthew joined the Royal Marines and spent 15-months completing the arduous officers’ training course at the Commando Training Centre at Lympstone to earn his commission and ‘green beret’. He went on to command a troop of marines at home and on various overseas deployments including Norway’s Arctic Circle to the Mojave Desert. After four years Matthew has decided to move on from his military career and, as he is already a qualified ski-instructor, will soon be moving to Wanaka, New Zealand to pursue a new career ‘on the slopes’.
Peter Login attended West Buckland between 2000 and 2008. As a boarder throughout, with parents living overseas for most of that time, Peter was a member of the CCF (RAF) where he cemented his ambition to fly at RAF Chivenor, in a glider, going solo at age 14. At School, he was also part of the shooting club and won best shot prizes. He also played squash and basketball. After completing his A-Levels, Peter took a gap year before reading Geography and Environmental Sciences at UWE Bristol. Whilst at University he joined the UAS gaining his PPL, in record time, winning aerobatic trophies along the way. Subsequently, Peter joined the RAF as an air traffic controller (pilot recruitment was closed at the time!), attending Initial Officer Training at the RAF College Cranwell; however, his ambition to be a pilot became all-consuming and he chose to leave the RAF and start the long journey to acquire his Air Transport Pilot’s Licence. Following many hours spent in the classroom, in simulators and in the air, he qualified as a Commercial Pilot in 2016. He has now joined Thomas Cook airlines, as a first officer, and is flying Boeing 757’s on short haul – and loving it!