Friday had arrived, the day Cpl Kearsley and Cpl Radford from 2418 Sherwood Sqn along with other cadets from South & East Midlands Wing, we were to stop at Glenfield Sqn the day before our flight to Nijmegen. The night mainly consisted of having a laugh and ordering Chinese takeaway, we were sent to bed at 12:00 sharpish, we were then awoken at 3:00am to be sent to the airport to catch the long awaited plane journey to Amsterdam where we would then be able to catch the train to our home for the week, in the town of Nijmegen.
For the first few days we mainly just went down town to look at what Nijmegen had to offer us, all of the people in the shops and restaurants we went to spoke a lot of English, this made it easier for us all to order things and have a talk with some of the staff, whilst there, there were live bands performing on a big stage right in front of where we were sitting, and personally I have got to say that it just made the first few nights better and took our minds off what we were really there for.
On Monday night we prepared all of our uniform and all of our stuff ready for what was to become, 4 days of marching and pain, the first day was not too hard as our training involved marching for 25 miles on each training walk. The second day was fairly hard but we had also trained for this at such events as WARMA at RAF Cosford and at the Waendel walk. We had many fun times whilst of the walk such as capturing a “Free hugs” girl and carrying her further down the road, another highlight was when we all gathered around and swarmed around another “Free hugs” girl, the Danish even got involved in this ‘swarming’ off the “free hugs” girls.
The third day would be the test for everyone to see if we could actually carry on, My team made sure that no one was miserable and we all had high spirits going into this day and we managed to maintain these high spirits all of the way round, at the end of the day we were all over the moon, the staff assured us that now we had finished the third day, nobody would drop out going into the final days, many of us were aching and many had blisters but this wouldn’t mean that anybody would drop out.
The fourth day came around and we were all excited for it to end and for us to go home as we were all tired, the fourth and final day seemed to drag and be really long, this might have been because we were clock watching but we were all still in high hopes during the day.
During the final day we did have a little injury, Sgt Danielle Holford hurt her groin but she managed to carry on with the day and finish, as we came to the end and received our medals we were so proud of our achievements, all of the training we had done enabled us to finish Nijmegen, but it didn’t end there, we still had a five kilometre victory parade to do. This was such a help getting us to the finish, there were over 500,000 people lining the streets to cheer us all on.
At the end of the day we caught the bus from the finish back to camp to pack for the flight back to Birmingham airport, the flight back only took about 45 minutes, once we were off the plane and we had claimed our baggage we were sent straight to the bus back to Glenfield, we then received our badges on the bus, all in all this experience was amazing and I would recommend this to anybody else who is thinking about doing Nijmegen, I even might do it again just to relive the experience.
2418 (Sherwood) Sqn