Kobie Biggs

Joined 1989

Gravesend Cadet Division, Kent

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Colour photograph showing seven Cadets. Four are standing at the back with their Cadet Leader in the middle wearing her black St John Number One Uniform consisting of a black jacket and black knee length skirt with a black peaked hat with a white rim and white badge in the centre. Three Cadets are kneeling at the front all holding white certificates and black oval badges. The Cadets all wear black trousers
Kobie Biggs (front centre) receiving her Grand Prior’s Award badge and certificate, 1990s Image courtesy of Kobie Biggs
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I did Knowledge of the Order, that was definitely at a residential camp. That was a weekend camp. That was in a school down Margate way, and that was quite strict, in the respect that we had to parade every morning. On a lot of the camps that we did, you had a groundsheet that was laid out, and every morning your tent was inspected, and you had to have your uniform laid out – you were given a picture, and everything had to be in exactly the right position, and every morning you’d get marks on the tent to how well it was laid out. So you used to have to – the older Cadets would make sure the little Cadets had got it marked out right, because if the little Cadets got it wrong, the whole tent got downgraded. So yeah, so we used to have to do that. I can’t remember what residential courses they were, but yeah, most of them were camping ones that I did.

So there was some big like – it was part of a camp that we did at – Cobham Hall, Cobham Hall School, it was. And we went for a weekend camp, and we did – I think we might have done a proficiency while we were there as well. But at the end of the camp, there was a big jamboree. So I think it was either seventy-five years’ celebration or seventy years’ celebration. And the whole of Kent had – every year, you used to have to have like an inspection, that they don’t do anymore so much, but instead of having the inspections that year at your Unit, everybody had their inspection at this day. So you were all with your own units, adults, Cadets, Badgers, everybody, and then we had a parade, and there was also a prizegiving ceremony at this parade. But as I say, I can’t remember what we won. And then when I got my Grand Prior, I remember going to that celebration as well. That was similar but not on such a big scale.

We did also go to Freiberg in Germany. That was a fun camp, and we met the Johanniter, which is the equivalent of St John Ambulance in Germany. That was for a whole week camp. We went out in minibuses and all came back in minibuses, yeah. I can’t remember that much about that, only going to a clock shop. A friend bought a cuckoo clock.

Excerpt courtesy of Kobie Biggs