The Torch Meets King Richard III

SEM Leicester City TorchSouth & East Midlands Wing Air Cadets recently took their turn in the Torch Relay organised as part of the Corps 75th Anniversary celebrations.

The inspiration for the torch design is the torch that is represented on the reverse of the Cadet Forces Medal presented to Uniformed Adult Volunteers in the Air Cadets for 12 tears service. It is a symbol of enlightenment towards training which epitomizes the work of the Corps. The torch relay is taking a total of seven weeks to pass through all six regions and all 36 Wings of the Corps including our very own.

The torch was received from Warwick & Birmingham Wing at Bruntingthorpe by Cadet Warrant Officer Green from 2418 (Sherwood) Squadron before making its way into Leicester to Jubilee Square to join 7.5 hours for 75 years.

SEM Torch climbingThe idea for 7.5 hours for 75 year came from Wing Warrant Officer (ATC) Dan Haywood. The cadets were challenged to continuously carry out a drill routine for the 7.5 hours in Jubilee Square with the torch and also to continuously climb up the climbing wall. A 60 strong team of cadets took part during the day supported by staff from across the Wing.

Whilst in Leicester, the torch also went on a little tour. We couldn’t let the day pass without a visit to the home of  2015/16 season Football Premiership Champions, Leicester City.

The torch returned to Jubilee Squadron and made its way inside the spectacular Leicester Cathedral for an audience at the Tomb of King Richard III. A truly unique venue on the torch’s journey. As part of the day the Torch also joined Squadron Leader Julie Rayson-Flynn RAFVR(T) on Radio Leicester for an interview on Lukwesa Burak’s show. SEM Torch King Richard

As the 7.5 hour challenge ended, the who squad carried out the continuity drill sequence with the torch and a relay of their own passing it between the 75 Attendees on the day.

The torch had had a long day and made its way to 1F (City of Leicester) Squadron for the overnight stop. 1F was the first squadron established on the formation of the Corps in 1941 and also therefore has the F (Founder) as part of its name. The F was allocated to the first 50 Squadrons established in the Corps.

After a lie in, the next morning the Torch made its way to the Wing’s second Founder Squadron, 5F. After an excellent drum led ceremony, the torch was handed over to Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire Wing to continue its journey.

Warant Officer Haywood, as main organiser of the Wing’s leg of the relay, said ” it was a challenge to come up with ideas for our leg that gave a balance of taking the torch to key landmarks in our Wing, but also in ensuring the cadets were as involved as possible. I think our time with the torch has  achieved exactly that and I would like to thank all cadets, staff and external organisations who supported us in our challenge and especially Civilian Instructor Molly Henson as the lead Project Officer on a great effort”.