47F (Grantham) Squadron, RAF Air Cadets are one of the significant units in the history of the RAF Air Cadet Organisation. All Squadrons have a squadron number, but the ‘F’ which follows it signifies that they were one of the first 50 squadrons to be formed in 1941.
The Squadron turned 75 on the 5th February 2016 and has provided training and skills to thousands of young men and women, helping them to start their adult lives in the best possible way. The Squadron celebrated its Birthday with a Dining In night, following Military tradition, with Cadets, Staff, former members and dignitaries gathering at Stoke Rochford Hall to celebrate together.
After a fantastic meal, following the strict military traditions of a formal Dining Night, speeches were given by a number of invited guests. First to speak was Flight Lieutenant Paul James, the current Officer Commanding, who spoke of the squadrons recent achievements, including their invitation to London, where the Squadron took part in the National Church Service attended by HRH the Duchess of Cambridge. A brief historical account of the Squadrons three quarters of a century span, was given by Wing Commander Steve Hullott (Retd), a former cadet, who became the Officer Commanding 47F and then went on to Command Trent Wing.
Other guests included the current Officer Commanding Trent Wing, Wing Commander Tony Wright, His Grace the Duke of Rutland, Councillor Ray Wooten and Mayor of Grantham Mrs Jacky Smith. Councillor Wootten kindly made a presentation to Flight Lieutenant Paul James in his role as Chairman of South Kesteven District Council. The presentation was in the form of a Cheque for £2476.00 towards the squadrons fund, in recognition of the valuable work the squadron completes within the town and community of Grantham.
The final speech came from Mayor Jacky Smith. Jacky’s links to the Squadron are through her late husband, one of the founding members of 47F Grantham Squadron. It was only fitting that Councillor Smith in memory of the legacy shared by her husband and so many former cadets and staff, that she cut into the anniversary celebration cake.
The evening was a great success, in beautiful surroundings to celebrate the squadrons great achievements and look ahead to the next 75 years of service.