Coalville Air Cadets Celebrate 75th Anniversary

1188's former cadets spanning the dacades.

1188’s former cadets spanning the dacades.

This year, 2016, the Air Training Corps is celebrating its 75th Anniversary. The Corps was officially formed on 5th February 1941, within a month there were more than 400 squadrons and 1188 (Coalville) Squadron was one of those.
The Royal Warrant was issued to on 10th March and the squadron came into being. 1188 (Coalville) Squadron is now the only squadron still running in North West Leicestershire.
The aims of the corps are still the same today as they were when the Air Training Corps was formed
1 to promote and encourage among young man and women a practical interest in aviation and the Royal Air Force
2 to provide training which will be useful both in the services and in civil life
3 to foster a spirit of adventure
4 to develop the qualities of leadership and the good citizenship.

1188 (Coalville) Squadron celebrated its 75th birthday in style. The squadron hosted a party at The Palace in Ibstock, for current members of the squadron and former members as well.
There were cadets or staff there from every decade since the squadron started, including a founder Cadet, Mr Raymond Walker. Mr Walker was one of the first 80 cadets to join the squadron in the summer of 1941, when the squadron was based at the old Bridge Road School. He applied the join the RAF in 1942, he was accepted but told we would have to wait 6 months as there was a delay on aircraft production. He was eager to do his bit and joined the fleet air arm, serving until the end of the war.

Even the photographer was a former cadet ,Alistair from The Studio 17 based in Coalville.

Music for the night was provided by the Hathern Concert Brass, the band spent a considerable amount of time practising their repertoire which included 633 squadron Dambusters and Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines as well as Happy Birthday and Congratulations.
There was a hot buffet, a disco and a cake decorated with a Spitfire. The walls were adorned with photos and newspaper cuttings detailing the squadron’s history.
During the evening the Squadron trophies were presented.
Air Commodore Andrew J Griffin presented The Vin Shepherd Cup for Best Attendance to Cadet Sergeant Hargadon, The1188 cadet, Drill and Ceremonial Award to Cadet Corporal Potter, Most Enterprising Cadet to Cadet Sergeant Setchell and Best Sports Cadet to Cadet Harrison.
Major Richard Bream, the Deputy Lieutenant of Leicestershire presented The Squadron Shooting Award for the second year in a row to Cadet Flight Sergeant Graham, The Leon Poxon Memorial Air Rifle Trophy also for the second year in a row to Cadet Sergeant Benjamin and TheSharlot Hammond Trophy for Adventure Training to Cadet Sharpe.
Squadron Leader Julie Rayson-Flynn, the squadron’s Wing Staff Officer presented The Community Award to Cadet Corporal Simpson, The Royal British Legion Annual Attendance Shield to Cadet Flight Sergeant Robinson and The Royal Air Forces Association Cup , for Cadet of the Year to Cadet Flight  Sergeant Graham.
Flight Lieutenant Rebekah Harrison-Page presented The John Bancroft Endeavour Trophy to Mrs Daphne Robinson on behalf civilian committee for all their hard work trying to raise £10,000 for the Squadron.
Mr Raymond Walker, the founder cadet presented The Most Promising New Cadet Trophy , awarded to Cadet Sharlot.
Mr Paul Murray and Miss Laura Murray presented The Myles Murray Trophy for the very first time. Myles Murray was a former cadet on the squadron; He was tragically killed in a motorbike accident last year. His father and sister presented the trophy in his memory. The trophy was presented to the cadet with the smartest uniform ,as Myles was always very smart. It was awarded to Cadet Eyres.

Flight Lieutenant Rebekah Harrison-Page RAF VR(T), the squadron’s  Commanding Officer, who had dressed in vintage 1940’s uniform for occasion, said “ The civilian committee, staff and cadets have worked hard to prepare for this evening and it has been a huge success. It has been a chance for former members of the squadron to reminisce as the current cadets celebrate their achievements of this last year”.