Grimsby Air Cadets Pay Respects to the fallen

RAF Air Cadets from North East Lincolnshire paid their respects to fallen soldiers of the First World War earlier this month during a trip to France and Belgium. 

The local youngsters, aged between 13 and 18 years old, visited the Menin Gate in the Belgian town of Ypres, and took part in the Last Post ceremony, which takes place each day at 8pm.

During the ceremony, three cadets from 195 (Grimsby) Squadron laid a wreath at the site, recognising the huge sacrifice of British and Commonwealth soldiers during WWI. 

The Menin Gate, unveiled in 1927, marks the site of five major offensives of the conflict, claiming the lives of nearly 200,000 Commonwealth soldiers.

The trip is the second overseas visit that the Squadron’s staff and cadets have carried out in the last 11 months. Cadets travelled to Poland last October, visiting the site of Auschwitz concentration camp and learning about the horrors of the Second World War.

Flight Lieutenant Kirsty Hudson RAFAC, said: “Today kids learn a lot about the two World Wars in School, but nothing can compare to visiting the sites of these battles and reading the names on the gravestones. That really lends a sense of perspective and scale of the conflicts.

“We want to offer more of these opportunities to our cadets in the future. It’s important that this history is never forgotten and that we continue to learn the lessons from our past.”

Cadet Warrant Officer Kyle Horner, who laid a wreath on behalf of the Squadron at the Menin Gate, said: “It was incredibly humbling experience to be able to witness first hand the Last Post ceremony and to lay a wreath, commemorating those that lost their lives.

“During my time as a cadet, I’ve had some amazing opportunities including going flying with the RAF, getting to march in front of crowds of people in my hometown on Armed Forces Day and personal development, but nothing compares to the experience of honouring those that gave their lives for our freedom.”