We Shall Remember Them – and it was exactly that act of Remembrance that 51 (Orton) Squadron Air Training Corp (ATC) completed on Sunday by joining with other military organisations; personnel from RAF Wittering, veterans of The Royal British Legion and other Youth Cadet Forces.
The Procession through Peterborough, led by the Peterborough Pipe Band, departed from behind the Town Hall, progressed along Bridge Street and into the Cathedral, a route lined by the public who watched in earnest as all the parade passed before them. .
As with many parades for 51 (Orton) Squadron, this parade saw the first for many and likewise the last. 51 (Orton) Squadron ATC has seen many new recruits join them during the past year, so there were a number of first timers on parade, like Cadets Henderson, Cozzetto and Butler to name a few. For Cadet Butler she had the additional honour of being a wreath bearer which saw her laying the wreaths at the War Memorial.
Cadet Butler said “It was great to be able to contribute to the parade in such a way”.
For other cadets like Sergeant Paul and Flight Sergeant Robinett, this marked their last parade as a cadet of the ATC. FS Robinett commented “The ATC has been such a large part of my life over the last 7 years, and gave me so many opportunities that I otherwise would not have had. To be able to parade each year to remember the fallen, I feel it was especially fitting for my last public event to be such a Remembrance Parade as this.”
In terms of firsts though, this did not stop with the squadron’s cadets this year, as it was the Commanding Officers first in terms of a Peterborough Parade where he had the invitation to be part of the formal parade by escorting the Royal Colours. It was as this escort that Flight Lieutenant Andrew Mason with the other escorts lined the entrance to the Cathedral as the Royal British Legion members led the procession into the Cathedral.
After an initial Bidding Prayer, which was led by The Dean, in the normal course of action for such events a short Act of Remembrance followed to include The Last Post, The Homage, Two Minutes Silence, The Kohima Epitaph and of cause no such act would be complete without the Reveille.
Following prayers and the usual National Anthem, the procession retraced their steps, and the salute was taken outside of The Town Hall alongside the war memorial by HM Lord-Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire. If you had thought the streets were full before the service, it was clearly nothing compared to afterwards. As each part of the parade passed by the war memorial it wasn’t to the sound of drums but to the sound of applause from the masses of watching public who took time to pause from their daily routines to salute the parade and honour the fallen in their own appreciative way.
Flt Lt Andrew Mason said, “I am always impressed by the number of cadets who put time aside to be part of such a parade and once again the cadets from 51 did themselves, the squadron and Peterborough proud.