News

July 15th 2016

75th Anniversary Air Cadets Parade returns to its home in Leicester

Cadets on parade through Leicester

Over 300 staff and cadets of South and East Midlands Wing gathered in Leicester city centre on Sunday 10 July to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Air Training Corps, which was formed on 5 February 1941 with 1F (City of Leicester) Squadron.

The parade was organised by Wing Warrant Officer Dan Haywood and Squadron Leader Mark Richards RAFVR(T) with representatives of the 29 squadrons from across Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire and Northamptonshire and Rutland that form the wing.

Parade From Cathedral Roof

The South and East Midlands Wing seen from the roof of Leicester Cathedral

Each one paraded its squadron banner and the parade was led by the band of 5F (Northampton) Squadron. Cadet Warrant Officer Oliver Kirk from 1360 (Stapleford and Sandiacre) Squadron proudly carried the Wing Banner escorted by Cadet Warrant Officer Jade Cox (also 1360), Cadet Warrant Officer Jinni Sur, 1461 (Wigston) Squadron and Cadet Warrant Officer Damien Simpson, 2195 (Long Eaton) Squadron.
The cadets paraded just over half a mile from Humberstone Gate, along High Street to Leicester Cathedral. Along the route, Officer Commanding South and East Midlands Wing, Wing Commander Nigel Dickinson OBE RAFVR(T), was joined by HM Lord-Lieutenant of Leicestershire Jennifer, Lady Gretton and Cadet Warrant Officer Jack Webb-Macleod in taking the salute.

Upon arrival at the Cathedral the squadron banners formed a guard of honour outside as cadets and guests entered. A drum head was formed at the altar by other Cadet Warrant Officers from around the wing, Tom Clamp, Lauren Priest, Maddie Mackay, Joseph Samuels-Hammond and Lauren Ashby. The Wing Banner was proudly laid across the drum head before the service began.

The service was led by Wing Padre John Hewer and also saw many members of the public come in to join the service.  A moving service saw cadets from across the wing lead the prayers with a reading by Wing Commander Dickinson and a fascinating sermon from The Revd Canon Dr Johannes Arens. The service concluded with a passionately sung National Anthem.

The singing of The National Anthem

The singing of The National Anthem

Wing Commander Nigel Dickinson OBE RAFVR(T) said: “It was a fitting day to mark the 75th anniversary of the ATC in the July sunshine and in the City where it all began.

“Many thanks go to all involved in making this event happen and yet again showcasing South and East Midlands Wing.”

“It was a fitting day to mark the 75th anniversary of the ATC in the July sunshine and in the City where it all began."