Prestigious Military Scholarship at Sandurst for Stonyhurst Head Boy

Stonyhurst College is delighted to announce that Seb, Head Boy of the current academic year, has been offered a prestigious scholarship at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, culminating a fantastic journey throughout his six years at one of the UK’s top-rated independent boarding and day schools.

Seb’s time at Stonyhurst College in the northwest of England, which began in Year 8 in 2018, has been marked by his active participation in the Combined Cadet Force (CCF), where he developed a profound understanding of military expectations, values, and standards.

“While I’m not from a military family, I have always had an interest in military history and equipment,” says Seb, “but my biggest inspiration was the RSM (Regimental Sergeant Major) who instructed us in Grammar (Year 9), when CCF is compulsory for all pupils. His stories and experiences from fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq have stayed with me and inspired me to live a life of service.”

Indeed, Seb is now very much on his desired path, having been promoted during Year 12 and then gained the rank of Junior Under Officer in Year 13, before winning the prestigious Sword of Honour – awarded to one pupil each year who has displayed exemplary effort in their CCF endeavours. “Opportunities and competitions like camps, drill competitions and gun runs have always kept me passionate, and the progression in responsibility and opportunity as you ascend the years and ranks has given me things to aspire to and kept me constantly interested.”

“The CCF department has also been instrumental in helping me throughout the Sandhurst application and testing process, ensuring I was thoroughly prepared for tests and interviews, as well as more general conversations about regiments and Sandhurst with Major John Cartwright-Terry (former Stonyhurst pupil and now Director of the Stonyhurst Foundation).”

Seb’s achievements extend beyond his contributions to the CCF. His experience as Head Boy and captain of the 1st XV rugby team has also been invaluable, allowing him to hone his leadership skills and serve as a role model for his peers.

“Sandhurst were very keen to hear about my involvement with rugby, music, and my time serving on the school committee,” he says. “And I’m confident that all these experiences, like public speaking, chairing meetings, and completing projects, to name just a small few, will translate across well to life as an Army Officer. Understanding that my leadership roles are one of service rather than privilege has helped me prepare for a future in service and mission.”

Seb also cited the school’s Jesuit values as instilling him with a sense of purpose and a drive to make a positive impact in the world. He adds: “Although not being Catholic, Jesuit education has taught me a lot about ‘setting the world on fire’. Since understanding living life as a mission, I have always been keen to help people and make an impact on the world, which has led me towards the army. I’m hoping that in my military service I will get the opportunity to fight for those who can’t and take part in humanitarian operations in the developing world.”

Stonyhurst’s Head of Partnerships, Mr Ian Murphy, who is currently leading the school’s effort to achieve the Silver Award for ongoing commitment to supporting military families and was previously Seb’s headmaster during his time at Stonyhurst St Mary’s Hall Prep School, expressed his pride in Seb’s accomplishments: “Seb’s dedication and achievements are a source of immense pride for the entire Stonyhurst community. “Seb’s dedication and achievements are a source of immense pride for the entire Stonyhurst community. Seb’s journey and education in the Jesuit tradition exemplifies the spirit of our institution – nurturing individuals who strive for excellence and are ‘men and woman for others’. We have no doubt that Seb will excel at Sandhurst and go on to offer leadership that will be a force for good in the world.”

The scholarship at RMA Sandhurst is one of the most competitive and prestigious awards available to aspiring military officers. Sandhurst is renowned for its rigorous training programs, which prepare cadets to become the future leaders of the British Army.

2025 will also mark the 125th anniversary of Stonyhurst’s CCF programme, with thousands of pupils during that time learning many useful life skills including teamwork, leadership, tactical planning and discipline.

CCF is often an attractive offering for pupils from military families who are keen to explore more about following in their family’s footsteps. This is alongside providing a stable and consistent educational environment, with vast opportunities to succeed, and one of the most generous fee support packages of any school, with families in receipt of the Continuous Education Allowance (CEA) paying no more than 10% of fees.

As Seb prepares to embark on this new chapter of his education, the Stonyhurst community celebrates his success and looks forward to following his future endeavours.

Stonyhurst is the UK’s leading co-educational Catholic boarding and day school for 3 – 18 year olds. The school was originally founded in Saint-Omer, near Calais, in 1593 by Fr Robert Persons SJ under the patronage of Philip II of Spain, and is the oldest continually active Jesuit school in the world.