May 8th 2014


On a  cool and breezy spring evening the people of Nottingham remembered their World War One fighter ace and Victoria Cross recipient, Captain Albert Ball with a parade and Act of Remembrance.

The Nottingham Branch of the Royal Air Force Association (RAFA) organise the Parade which is attended by Air Cadets from across Nottingham.  The Parade is held every year on the anniversary Albert Ball’s disappearance in France on the evening of 7th May 1917 after taking off for an evening offensive patrol over the Arras Front. His posthumous Victoria Cross was awarded a month later to mark his heroic achievements.

Over 120 Air Cadets proudly marched through the Castle Grounds behind the Ruddington Army Cadet’s Band.

The Squadron Colour of 56 (R) Squadron from RAF Waddington led the Parade with a full Colour escort of Squadron personnel.   Captain Ball was one of the founder members of 56 Squadron.

The Parade formed up around the memorial statue of Captain Ball in the Castle Grounds where a short service was conducted by the Reverend Andy Morris, Vicar of St Matthews and St Phillips, Bestwood.

Wreaths were laid by The Lord Mayor of the City of  Nottingham, Councillor Melita Bryan, Wing Commander Ian Middleton MBE, Officer Commanding 56 (Reserve) Squadron from RAF Waddington,  Wing Commander Nigel Dickinson OBE, Officer Commanding South & East Midlands Wing, Air Training Corps,  and Mrs Mary Bell on behalf of the Royal Air Force Association

Parade Commander, Squadron Leader Andy Pass, led the cadets on a March Past with the salute being taken by the assembled dignitaries.

Wing Commander Dickinson said: “It makes me feel proud to command these smart youngsters who have turned out to remember Nottingham’s Hero.   It is essential that this generation remember the past sacrifices, and sacrifices being made today, for their freedom.  The Air Cadets from Nottingham and the surrounding area, are a credit to the City, their parents and themselves”.