Four Air Cadets from Stapleford had the honour of carrying and escorting the Central & East Region Banner at the parade and service at the RAF Chapel, St Clement Danes, London, on the occasion of the Air Training Corps 77th Anniversary and the marking of the Royal Air Forces 100th Anniversary.
Each February cadets of the Royal Air Force Air Cadets(RAFAC) celebrate their formation in 1941, usually within their local community. To mark the 100th Anniversary of the Air Cadet’s parent service, the Royal Air Force, cadets from all over the country paraded in London and attended a service conducted at St Clement Danes, the Central Church of the Royal Air Force.
The four cadets from 1360 (Stapleford & Sandiacre) Squadron, Cadet Warrant Officer Zach Davies, in charge of the party, Cadet Warrant Officer Matthew Osbiston,. Banner Bearer, and two Escorts, Cadet Sergeant Sophie Smith and Cadet Lauren Niblett, were selected to have the honour of attending the celebrations as Banner Party to the Central and East Region Banner. Central and East Region of the RAFAC covers the Midlands and East Anglia and has nearly 180 squadrons within its area.
After the formal parade and service, the cadets, staff and both Service and Civilian dignitaries retired to the Royal Courts of Justice for refreshments and the cutting of a specially made cake to celebrate the occasion by Air Marshal Julian Young. The cake had been made and decorated by Flight Lieutenant Jade Waring RAFAC, who, as a cadet, was a member of the Stapleford Squadron and is now commanding 209 (West Bridgeford) Squadron.
“It was one of the best experiences so far in my cadet career” said Cadet Lauren Niblett; “although I have not had much experience as Banner Escort, I thoroughly enjoyed the day”. Lauren was the youngest member of the party at fourteen years but already, after only two years, is qualified as a Master Cadet and has completed a leadership course as well as progressing with her Bronze Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.
As the person in charge of the Stapleford Party, Cadet Warrant Officer Zach Davies said; “It was a great honour to 1360 selected to carry the Region Banner on such a prestigious occasion. This will rate as one of the high points of my time in the cadets”.