August 30th 2018

Taking part in a battlefield tour

The Nottinghamshire cadets

The Nottinghamshire cadets before their performance

15 cadets from Nottinghamshire Army Cadet Force (ACF) travelled overseas this summer to take part in a military battlefield tour and put on a musical performance at the Menin Gate.

Traveling more than 300 miles from Nottingham to France then on to Belgium, the ACF group made up of cadets who play in the youth organisation’s Corps of Drums, visited historic locations including Tyne Cot Cemetery and Memorial and The Yser Tower in Diksmuide – a peace monument commemorating the soldiers killed on the Yser Front during World War One.

The cadets were also joined by 14 Royal British Legion representatives and local villagers when they took part in an annual parade in Foncquevillers in France, before later travelling to the Menin Gate where they would perform in front of hundreds of onlookers.

Speaking about the visit, that took place from 28 June to 3 July, Staff Sergeant Liz Wilde, an adult volunteer at Nottinghamshire ACF explained: “The cadets really enjoyed the visit. Some of the young people in the group had travelled to the locations we attended before but for others it was a new experience.

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The cadets during their performance

“Music is something that has bought the group of cadets together, all performing an instrument in the Corps of Drums. Instruments played at Menin Gate included a flute, bugle, drum and glockenspiel.”

Cadet Lance Corporal Millie Curzon, aged 16, from Wigman Road Detachment took part in the visit. She said: “It was great to take part in the visit as it was my first ever trip to France and my first time visiting the cemeteries. A highlight for me was playing my flute in front of an audience at the Menin Gate. Taking part in the visit was a really memorable experience.”

Nottinghamshire ACF believes it is important to educate its members and give them an opportunity to learn about historical events so organise a battlefield tour each year. This was the ninth time a visit to France and Belgium has taken place, with those involved commenting that they could feel the sadness at the various locations and felt honoured to have the chance to pay their respects to those who lost their lives fighting for our country.

“It was great to take part in the visit as it was my first ever trip to France and my first time visiting the cemeteries."