Old Wycliffian Gwilym Wyn-Jones has been awarded the highest honour for an Officer Cadet at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.
Senior Under Officer Wyn-Jones was presented with the Sword of Honour for being the Best Officer Cadet in the Army Commissioning Course 162.
He was presented with the honour by The Rt Hon Theresa May MP, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service and Prime Minister, at the Sovereign’s Parade at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in April 2017.
Gwilym is the second Old Wycliffian to receive the prestigious award. Major General Graham Fawcus (pictured below) was presented the Sword of Honour by Field Marshal Montgomery in 1958. For Gwilym, who has been commissioned as Second Lieutenant into the 3rd Battalion of the Rifles Regiment, it marks the beginning of his dream career in the military.
Even as a teenager Gwilym was focused on a military career. “I love the military life and there was never a time when I thought of doing anything else.”
A day student – who, in Sixth Form, cycled every day to Wycliffe from his home in Minchinhampton – Gwilym was a member of the Wycliffe Combined Cadet Force (CCF) for five years. During that time he was appointed to the Lord Lieutenant Cadets. He also went on various expeditions including a cadet exchange to the Yukon in Canada, cross country skiing and kayaking to Norway and climbing in Austria. Gwilym, who was the CCF CSM (top cadet) in his final year at Wycliffe, led both of Wycliffe’s 35-mile and 45-mile successful Ten Tors teams whilst at the College. He was awarded both a Royal Marines and an Army Scholarship when he was 16. Lt Col Paul Rothwell, OC of the Wycliffe CCF, recalls: “I remember early on in his school career, giving a briefing to his year group. I mentioned something about the Normandy D-Day Landing and the date of 6th June 1944. I inadvertently said 1945. On my way out, I heard this voice saying ‘Sir, do you realise the D Day landing were in 1944. For a 14-year-old boy, this was done with a great deal of tact and a disarming smile. I knew then that there was something quite unique and mature about this young man. Paul also recalls. “On one Norway expedition, Gwilym fell and cut his lip on the metal edge of his ski. A moderate size open wound and blood everywhere. “Not a cry, moan or any antics from Gwilym. He was more concerned that he couldn’t do the expedition the next day. We took him to hospital, got him stitched up. Didn’t get back until 2 in the morning. He was up early the next day. After little sleep and an ugly wound, rucksack on his back, he then joined the rest of the group to complete a four-day 65 km expedition.
“He has proved to be an outstanding leader, who has great humility and really knows how to connect with people.”
After leaving Wycliffe, Gwilym went on to study international relations and politics at Sheffield University. “I needed that life experience – and to have fun – before joining the Army.”
He pays tribute to Lt Col Paul Rothwell, OC of the Wycliffe CCF.
“Paul set a very good example. His work ethic is what I took away from Wycliffe,” says Gwilym. “He never gave up on us and enabled us to do develop our skills and to grow. It was a fantastic time.”
The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in Surrey is where all officers in the British Army are trained to take on the responsibilities of leading the soldiers under their command.
Major General Graham Fawcus (H 1951 – 1956)
Gwilym Wyn-Jones (P C 2005 – 2012)