King’s Regiment O/Cadet Certificate A Ash Tray

Certificate “A” was a military proficiency award originally used by the university cadet corps. It was associated initially with a more advanced Certificate “B”, the holding of which, gave entry into the Special Reserve of Officers or the Territorial Force as an officer. Certificate “A” was at the level for basic training. The certificates were recognised by the War Office in 1908. This was extended to other cadet corps during the Great War (1914–18). These cadet corps were mainly in secondary and public schools, until 1942 when the Army Cadet Force came into being. By the middle of the 1930s, Certificate “A” was the aim of every new cadet. 

As can be imagined, the successful completion of the Certificate A was an event that cadets wished to commemorate. Whilst a special badge was awarded to wear on their uniforms, some units made more permanent awards, such as this silver plate ashtray: 

The badge in the centre indicates that the recipient was a member of the King’s regiment: 

The engraving on the ashtray records that it was presented to Officer Cadet C.W.Fincken: 

For the Certificate A: 

In 1932: 

The rear of the ashtray shows that it was made of electro-plate: 

To obtain the certificate, both military and fitness tests had to be passed. In 1942, the military test consisted of: 

  • Drill 
  • Weapon training 
  • Range Work requiring a minimum score with .22 rifle 
  • Map reading 
  • Command, including drill commands 
  • Battle drill (elementary 7 tactical exercises) 

The fitness tests varied according to local facilities, but included running; rope work,; wall climbing; an endurance test; water ability (either swimming or treading water). Some units had more tests but these were not listed on the reverse of the certificate.

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