Tag Archives: Air Training Corps

Berkshire Cadets come together to compete for the Frost Trophy and Nowell Cup Part.2

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Arborfield ACF Company Sergeant Major Holly Chamberlain took on the role of volunteer casualty as teams taking part in the Frost Trophy and Nowell Cup were tested on their first aid skills. Holly has recently completed a Public Services Course at Reading College and is starting training with Thames Valley Police.

Last year Holly was chosen to be one of four Lord-Lieutenant’s Cadet for 2016.  Cadets support the Lord-Lieutenant for Berkshire in his work during their year of office, accompanying him to royal visits, awards ceremonies, and similar official events. Holly said “Being the Lord Lieutenant’s Cadet has been really interesting. I have met the Queen, Prince Philip and Prince Edward and have attended a lot of different events.”

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Royal Marines Cadet 2 Katie Kremer from Reading, took a ducking while taking part in the water challenge but once back on dry land she helped her team to complete the task in the fastest time of the day.

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Royal Marines Cadet Sergeant MC1 Caitlin Lobley started her cadet life as a sea cadet but transferred as she felt the Royal Marines were more “outdoorsy.” A year 11 pupil at Hugh Faringdon School, Southcote, Reading, Caitlin hopes to study medicine and to join the Navy as a medic. Caitlin said “I would recommend cadets as a way of making friend for life and experiencing things a bit different from normal life.”

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Cadet Jordan Graham gives the climbing wall the thumbs up. Jordan has been with the Arborfield Detachment for two years. He is following in the footsteps of his brother who is the Regimental Sergeant Major. Jordan’s favourite activity is first aid.

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On behalf of the winning team, Army Cadet Sergeant Monja Danischewsky received the Frost Trophy from Wing Commander Chris Fisher. Monja, who is based with the Cippenham Detachment, has been a cadet for five years and hopes to join the Household Cavalry once he has completed his A Levels.

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The winners of the Frost Trophy celebrate their success! The team included Berkshire Army Cadets from the Witley, Woodley, Cippenham and Arborfield Detachments.

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On behalf of his fellow team members, Ordinary Sea Cadet Peter Talbot accepted the Nowell Cup from Colonel Chris Booth. Peter said “Today has been great fun, although we didn’t know each other at the beginning of the day we have really come together as a team. It is really interesting to meet-up with cadets from the other Services as we all do things differently and can learn from each other.”

Berkshire Cadets come together to compete for the Frost Trophy and Nowell Cup

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Army Cadet Wiktor Konecki, Cippenham Detachment, has been a cadet for three years and plans to join the Army as a member of the Infantry. Wiktor said “Being a cadet is a great confidence builder and a great way of making  friends. I found out about the ACF by watching videos on YouTube, I decided to give it a go and have enjoyed every minute.”

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Sea Cadet William De Guzman hopes that his experiences as a cadet will help him in his ambition to become a Marine. William is based with the Slough Unit and has been a cadet for almost a year.  William said “Being a cadet has given me new experiences and is helping me to prepare for a military career. We have to think outside the box and interact with new people. Annual camp gave us a chance to take part in lots of activities including field craft, camping, and clay pigeon shooting.”

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Hayley Milward, Whitley Detachment, joined the ACF at the beginning of 2016 and said “Being a cadet has really helped with my confidence and we get to do lots of different things. I really enjoy sports and have had the chance to take part in regional and national athletics events. I went on annual camp to Thetford and really enjoyed the clay pigeon shooting.”

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Reading based Royal Marines Cadet Class 2 Finlay Allen was one of several senior cadets providing support to the teams taking part in the Frost Trophy and Nowell Cup. Finlay originally joined the ACF but moved to the Royal Marines because he felt there were more opportunities to experience field craft,  something he really enjoys.

Finlay is currently studying for qualifications in Travel and Tourism, and Resistant Materials. He plans to spend time in the USA working for Camp America and travelling before returning to the UK to train as an officer with the Marines.

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Sea Cadet Kelsy Merritt joined the Slough Unit almost a year ago. Kelsy who lives in Langley and attends Churchmead School, Datchet said “Being a Sea Cadet is great fun. There are lots of opportunities to try new things. We regularly go to Datchet Reservoir for boating activities including sailing and rowing.”

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Army Cadet Jade Bartlett, from the Aborfield Detachment, was taking part in the Frost Trophy for the second time. Jade, who is starting a Health and Social Course at Basingstoke College, has been a cadet for two years said “Taking part in events like this is great fun. It is great to meet different cadets and to take on the challenges.”

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Lance Corporal Kayci Benham and Cadet Andrew Boldoro are not only both members of Witley Detachment, but they are both Year 10 pupils at the local John Madejski Academy. They were teamed up with other Army Cadets as one of the Single Service teams competing for the Frost Trophy, working together on a series of activities including putting their first aid skills to the test.


Air Cadets paddle to success on Exercise Golden Tarn

Written by Alex Pye (211 (Newbury) Squadron 

We can’t lie – the last week has been fantastic! A culmination of 6 months of hard training for the cadets, and 2 years of planning & training for the staff team involved in delivering Exercise Golden Tarn.

In celebration of 75 years of the Air Training Corps, Thames Valley Wing decided to embark on an ambitious overseas adventure training expedition – the first within the Wing for some years – and the very first mounted overseas by canoe. The Exercise, Golden Tarn, saw 6 cadets undertake their Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Expedition, paddling unsupported over a 100km descent of the Tarn River in the Aveyron region of France. Starting in Montbrun – the highest point to paddle due to the low water levels – the cadets paddled through Grade 1 & 2 rapids, dynamically assessed a Grade 3 rapid (and portaged it), then continued through some amazing scenery, under the magnificent Millau Viaduct to their end point at St Rome Du Tarn.
Preparation for the expedition began 2 years ago with some ideas bounced around in the Mess, from which it grew into a reconnaissance and feasibility expedition in 2015. Here the staff team not only tested the feasibility of a number of venues, they also identified training requirements specific to the environment and built around the needs of the various routes under consideration. Additionally, the staff looked at transport, logistics, accommodation, catering, campsites and everything else which could help or hinder the expedition.
In November 2015 a calling notice was issued to which 14 cadets responded. Eight cadets attended the initial training sessions on a bitterly cold Saturday on the Kennet & Avon Canal in Berkshire. The training escalated over the next 3 months from initial flat water skills through to basic moving water skills. In March the team attended a 5 day paddlesport camp at Halton Training Camp involving their first paddlesport expedition on Coniston Water, followed by 3 days of Moving Water Training at a variety of venues across the Lake District National Park under the expert guidance of Sgt (ATC) Alice Pye and Nick Howard from Epic Outdoors. The cadets went on to complete further training, a practice expedition on the River Severn, further White Water training on the River Wye, a Rescue Skills course as well as an Expedition First Aid course. After one of the slightly more challenging training sessions, one of the team was overheard saying “I’ve got 99 problems – and they’re all canoeing related”.
The cadets from Newbury, Aldermaston, Woodley & Chipping Norton, additionally undertook evening paddlesport courses to help mitigate skills fade and keep everything fresh in their minds. The intensive training regime proved challenging for the cadets in its own right; many of which were studying at Sixth Form & College, as well as keeping their own ATC commitments and personal lives in order!
In mid-July the team departed for France via Newhaven and following a 16 hour minibus journey, finally arrived at their expedition headquarters, a Gite just outside Aguessac near Millau. Following a day’s acclimatisation and skills refresh near Florac, the cadets began their 4 day expedition in sweltering 36 degree temperatures; paddling from Montbrun to La Malene through the heart of the 400m deep Gorge Du Tarn. Initial water levels proved very low in places, requiring lining the boats down some rapids and riffles, but in the main, the paddling was excellent.
Day 2 saw the team, aged 16-17, move on to the Gorge from La Malene to Le Rozier; a stretch which took them through the Pas De Souci, a huge rockfall and boulder field which includes a siphon. The team successfully portaged this area, before paddling on to the canoe shoot at Les Vignes down the River’s 16ft barrage.
The penultimate day of the expedition saw the cadets leave the Gorge proper and start exploring the smaller villages as the meandering River Tarn wound from Le Rozier, through Aguessac to a campsite just outside Millau. The paddling was, again, hot – peaking at 38 degrees – but the River levels were falling. Despite this, the River continued to offer plenty of surprises with sufficient challenge – several lengthily stretches of rapids, several weirs and an epic canoe shoot which got the better of one of the canoes, leaving them high and dry beached on a rock.
The final days paddling saw the group descend from the Millau valley and move into the amazing foothills, capturing the beautiful villages of Peyre, Compregnac & Candas before moving to St Rome Du Tarn itself. On the way the team paddled under the Millau Viaduct – Europe’s tallest bridge – some 270m above the River. The group reflected on this as their favourite day of the expedition – not just because they were on the home straight, but because, despite the lack of high Grade white water, there were still plenty of features and spots along the way to keep the paddling challenging, passing under the magnificent engineering feat of the viaduct and seeing the beautiful village of Peyre built into the cliff – not to mention countless Kingfishers, Herons and many fish along the route.
All cadets using this for the Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award successfully completed the expedition in accordance with the required conditions – and all had an amazing time in the process – producing some high quality photography and video which will be used to promote Adventurous Training opportunities and the Duke of Edinburgh Award within the Thames Valley Wing and beyond.


Flt Lt Martin Christlieb RAFVR(T), Officer In Charge of the Expedition said “we’d like to thank our Sponsors and Supporters for their help in making the expedition feasible. Supporters have included Ulysses Trust, RAF Charitable Trust, AWE and Hobkey – all of which have proven invaluable for us.”


The expedition team, Sgt Jemima Croggon (17), Cpl Jake Agar (16), Cdt Rebecca Palmer (16), Cdt Leila Whiteman (17), Cpl Rowan Hayball (17) and Cpl Drew Harding (16) would also like to extend their thanks to their Air Cadet staff for their support, advice and commitment to the expedition and putting their lives on hold to make it happen. They would also like to thank their parents for their early morning drops offs, late evening picks ups, ferrying them the occasional things we’d forgotten and their overwhelming patience when we come back from a weekend away cold, wet & smelling of river!

You can view further information about the expedition including our expedition video here: http://www.facebook.com/GoldenTarn2016.

Find out more about what the Air Cadets can offer you here: www.raf.mod.uk/aircadets or contact Newbury Squadron directly on 211@aircadets.org or Aldermaston Squadron on 2403@aircadets.org.


Additional quotes from participants:

  • I’ve got 99 problems – and they’re all canoeing related – Cdt Rebecca Palmer
  • A fantastic and unique opportunity – definitely the best thing I’ve done in cadets – Cdt Leila Whiteman
  • There are pros and cons to every situation even pinning a boat – Cpl Jake Agar
  • I loved the feeling of independence we were given – trusted to make our own decisions, find our own way, cut our own path and make the expedition what we wanted – Sgt Jemima Croggon
  • I expected to spend more time swimming the rapids than paddling them – I was surprised at how far our training had pushed us – and how prepared we were. The heat did make the swim feel quite inviting though! – Cpl Rowan Hayball
  • The expedition made all the training worth it – Cdt Drew Harding
  • We could’ve done this in Wales or Scotland or the Lake District – but doing it somewhere different set it apart and made some amazing memories – Sgt Jemima Croggon

ATC Windsor 75th Anniversary Parade

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Flight Lieutenant Jane Wicks is a mum, grandmother and works full time “but I still find time to enjoy my time with the Air Training Corps”

Flight Lieutenant Jane Wicks, from Didcot, is an Volunteer Adult Cadet Instructor. Jane joined when her son became a Cadet.  Now 14 years later Jane is now a Grandmother with two grandchildren.  She works for in the printing industry and works for a Company called Digipress in Didcot. “I am proud to be part of the Air Training Corps., and I view it as a real pleasure to be involved.”


Flight Lieutenant Chris Tocher is a sector Commander and is responsible for 7 Squadrons of Cadets within the Thames Valley area

Flight Lieutenant Chris Tocher lives in Newbury and works in the Telecoms Industry.
Chris an ex Air Cadet joined as an Adult Instructor 13 ago. He said “Being an Adult Instructor with the Cadets has really helped with my career, it helped to get me into Uni and get me my job.”


Pilot Officer Luke Baker who lives in Earley in Reading. “As an Ex Cadet myself I always try to encourage the older cadets to become an adult instructor when they reach 20, which is what I did and I find it really rewarding.”

Pilot Officer Luke Baker, works at Granbury College pupil referral unit working with children who are excluded from school and main stream education.

Luke was a cadet in Bracknell and now as an Adult Instructor parades at 153 Slough Squadron.  He said, “I would recommend anyone to come along to see us and find out more about being an Adult Instructor.”

For more information please go to http://www.aircadets.tv/


Thames Valley Wing Air Training Corps Celebrate 75th Anniversary

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Over 400 hundred Air Cadets from Thames Valley Wing Air Training Corps celebrated 75 years of the formation of the Corps by parading through the Town of Windsor on Sunday 22 May.

Joined by their adult volunteer instructors the Cadets, marched with military precision through the streets of Windsor where a church service was held at Windsor Parish Church.

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In the presence of the Lord-Lieutenant of Berkshire Mr James Puxley, Mayors and Councillors from across Berkshire and

Commandant Air Cadets, Dawn McCafferty, the parade then formed up to conclude their celebrations with a march past Windsor Guildhall, where the salute was taken by the Lord Lieutenant and Commandant Air Cadets.

For more information please go to http://www.aircadets.tv/ 

Kent Air Cadets Mark 75th Anniversary of Air Training Corps


More than 500 RAF Air Cadets from across Kent marched through Canterbury High Street on Saturday, 21 May, to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the youth organisation.

A total of 561 cadets and 48 adult volunteers marched from St Peters Lane to Canterbury Cathedral, with the Wing Band leading the Parade, where they joined a further 150 cadets and invited guests for a service to celebrate the landmark anniversary.

The Air Training Corps was formed on 5 February 1941 by a Royal Warrant Issued by King George VI and currently consists of over 42,000 cadets across the United Kingdom. In Kent, there are 1,206 cadets who attend meetings twice a week at one of the county’s 34 squadrons, assisted by 302 adult volunteers.


The event in Canterbury is one of many taking place across the country throughout 2016, and is the first time that a county-wide parade has been organised for 35 years. The cadets marched past Air Vice Marshal Malcolm Brecht, CBE MA FRAeS RAF who is Chief of Staff for Capability at HQ Air Command and Air Commodore Dawn McCafferty, Commandant Air Cadets.  The Lord Lieutenant of Kent, High Sheriff of Kent and Lord and Lady Mayoress of Canterbury also attended the event along with representatives from the Battle of Britain Memorial Trust, RAF Benevolent Fund, Greater London RFCA, South East RFCA, KCC and Kent emergency services.

Wing Commander Russell Goodayle, Kent Wing’s Officer Commanding, said, “It is a great honour lead such a dedicated group of people on parade today.  It has been a fantastic day.  I am extremely proud of my cadets and staff and the work they do”.

For more information on the Air Training Corps in Kent or if you are interested in joining such a great organisation, visit www.kentaircadets.org.

413 Squadron ATC are looking for new recruits

With support from SERFCA, 413 Squadron received new banners on Monday evening. They are currently looking for new recruits and further information can be found here http://rafcadets.co.uk/

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All, including the staff, cadets and committee, were impressed by the new banners and are looking forward to putting them up to publicise the squadron.

They hope that the banners will help to make them more visible and will help the recruiting effort.




An evening of awards for Hampshire ‘High Flyers’

Air Cadets and Adult instructors from Headquarters Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wing Air training Corps celebrated their annual evening of awards last week.  The event was held at their Winchester Headquarters at Newburgh House, Newburgh Street on Friday evening (18 March 2016).

In the presence of the Lord- Lieutenant of Hampshire HM Mr Nigel Atkinson, awards were present to Air Cadets and Adult Instructors from the Wing in recognition of long and dedicated service and individual achievements in sports, education and first aid.


The event was also attended by Air Vice Marshal Paul Luker Honorary President of the Hants and Isle of Wight Wing Air Training Corps, and Group Captain Philip Robinson, Station Commander RAF Odiham,  proud parents, friends and family.

Awards  presented on the evening by both the Lord-Lieutenant and the Air Vice Marshall were presentations of Commendations, Corps sporting awards and presentations of Institute of Leadership and Management certificates.

Addressing the guests at the end of the evening the Lord-Lieutenant said, “It has been an absolute delight to present the awards this evening, the citations were remarkable, many congratulations.”  He added, “The skills that you all learn from being in the Air Cadets are life-long and will benefit all of you in any of the careers you choose.”


Are you interested in becoming an Adult Instructor or Cadet? 

For further information go to: www.hantsatc.com

The Air Training Corps teaches you many invaluable life skills

Sergeant Kieren Clarke- Hill, 23, is a Cadet Force Adult Volunteer with 19 (Crawley) Squadron. From Horsham, Kieren is a stock controller at Tesco.   Kieren was a cadet with 1015 (Horsham) Squadron and, after leaving at the age of 20, he became a civilian instructor. He has just been promoted to Adult Sergeant and has moved to 19 (Crawley) Squadron where he is responsible for drill and discipline.

Sergeant Kieren Clarke- Hill

Sergeant Kieren Clarke- Hill

Kieren believes that he owes many of his life skills to the ATC including some common sense and how to motivate and manage difficult people and situations.  He said “My family are all from an Army background and so the interest in the military has always been there. However, I remember going to the Shoreham Air Show when I was 12 years old and being fascinated by the planes. I did my first flight when I was 14 and I remember being absolutely terrified.

Kieren believes that he owes many of his life skills to the ATC

Kieren believes that he owes many of his life skills to the ATC

The pilot and staff were so brilliant though and really helped to calm me down and I ended up flying three times as a cadet and once as a member of staff.” He continued “Being in the cadets helped to set me straight – I was very naughty at school and it helped to bring me into line. There are a lot of cadets who join who are just like I used to be and it’s very rewarding to point them in the right direction and see them come out of their shells and become young, responsible and respectful adults.”

For more information visit http://www.sussexwing.org/

A Year as Lord Lieutenant’s Cadet 2012-2013

CWO Shaun Kellam 2313 (The Chalfonts) Herts & Bucks Wing ATC

On Friday 26th April I attended the inauguration of the new £100 million Warner Bros. Studios Leavsdon in the presence of Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and HRH Prince Harry. There could not have been a better way to finish what has been a fantastic twelve months as Lord Lieutenant’s Cadet for Hertfordshire.

I am coming to the of a 7 year career in the Air Training Corps. During my time I have endeavoured to get involved in as much as possible, firmly believing that the more I put in the more I will get out. I can safely say that I was correct. All of the activities in the corps help to achieve the three aims of the organisation. For example, my Flying and Gliding scholarships help to promote and interest in aviation and the RAF. The Air Cadet Leadership course which I attended at RAFC Cranwell provides skills which will be useful in both civilian life and the services and opportunities such as my Hawk flight at RAF Valley and the placement to the USA on the International Air Cadet Exchange all foster the spirit of adventure. It is because of all of the opportunities centred around those aims that the ATC has truly set me up for life. However, the best story is my year as Lord Lieutenants’ Cadet.

Myself and HRH Prince Harry

Myself and HRH Prince Harry

My duties as Lord Lieutenant’s Cadet started before I had even been presented with my certificate or badge. But with 2012 being the Diamond Jubilee year of HM The Queen it was inevitably going to be a busy one. After rapidly obtaining my brand new RAF No.1 uniform and sewing on the numerous badges it was Sunday 20th May 2012, the Lord Lieutenants Diamond Jubilee Service held in honour of Her Majesty at St Albans Cathedral. This being my first duty I arrived in plenty of time; a mere 45 minutes early. After meeting Susan Wright, Assistant Clerk to the Lieutenancy, for the first time it was straight on with the job. As Lady Verulam, Lord Lieutenant for Hertfordshire, arrived in her car I saluted and greeted her at the doors of the Cathedral. After a quick run through it was time for the procession where my role was escort Lady Verulam through the Cathedral. My first impressions of Lady Verulam were extremely good and I knew this was going to be a fantastic year.

The Hertfordshire county show was on 2nd June and the day I was presented, officially, with my certificate of appointment. It was a great day; I visited the majority of the stalls with Lady Verulam in the morning and then was invited to the president’s lunch in the member’s enclosure, which was delicious. My parents and my sister were invited to the presentation but being five I think my sister was more interested in the horses!

14th June 2012 was definitely the big day. It was the day of HM The Queens visit to Hertfordshire as part of her Diamond Jubilee tour of the country. I arrived in Hitchin at 08:50 the crowds were building, along with the excitement, with over a thousand people in the small market square already. Susan briefly explained our role for the day and then left us to talk to the crowds and prepare for the Queens arrival at 10:30.

CWO Shaun Kellam Lord Lieutenant’s Cadet 2012/13

CWO Shaun Kellam
Lord Lieutenant’s Cadet 2012/13

Whilst waiting I spoke to a group of Americans who had been waiting there for four hours but were nevertheless in fantastic spirits as I told them they had chosen the exact position the the Queen would be stepping out of the Bentley. As the time drew closer the Brass band and the local church choir added to the festivities with classic marching songs and contemporary film music. Jerusalem was the chosen song for the arrival of Her Majesty and by 10:00 the crowd, now thousands strong, had successfully rehearsed it. At 10:15 I had a visit from Her Majesties personal security who confirmed the arrangements and impressed me with his uncanny resemblance with a spook. He came complete with a concealed pistol and an earpiece. It was now 10:25 and people were getting worried that the red carpet had not finished being laid but they did manage to get it done, just.

The town clock chimed 10:30, a police bike arrived around the corner, the crowd erupted into cheers, the band started playing Jerusalem, I was ready… ready…nope, nothing. The Queen didn’t arrive. It was a false start and the announcer put it down to a celebration of the lifting of the hose pipe ban, but the county council were quick to say that it was not! It was 10:40 when Her Majesty actually arrived with even more cheers than the “false start”. My job was simple, salute her when she stepped out of the car and then follow her and the Lord Lieutenant around the square. I played a running game towards the end with the avalanche of flowers and gifts that were presented to the Queen. We collected them and ran them to either the “sweep car” or the Bentley. By 11:10 we were waving Her Majesty off and getting ready for leg number 2.

We arrived at Hatfield House, parked up, looked over my shoulder and saw the black Range Rover coming down the road! There was still a field and a 4000 strong crowd of school children separating me from the arrival point! Luckily my cross country experience came in useful as I sprinted across the field, fought my way through the crowd, dived under the fence and took my position with literally 5 seconds to spare before I was saluting the Queen as she stepped out the Range Rover.

The Queen was then treated to a steel band and a choir before plating a new oak tree. After the Queen left I was asked by a young girl if I would present a card that she had made to the Queen on leg 3 of my day, I, of course, obliged.

The final leg was the highlight of the day. It was a reception and luncheon with Her Majesty the Queen inside Hatfield House. As I made my way up to Hatfield House I was once again asked to present gifts to the Queen. When I got inside I had a look at the Luncheon seating plan and to my amazement I was seated on table one directly opposite the Queen! I saw the Chief Constable of Thames Valley Police and Air Chief Marshal Peach on table two. Head of security a Colonel and an Air Vice Marshal on table three but on my double take I was still on table one!

After the lunch the guests and household staff went into the house gardens to wave off the Queen as she departed in the Royal helicopter.

After that fun filled day I had a bit of a rest from my duties. On 9th October 2012 and then in March 2013 I attended British Empire Medal presentations at County Hall. I got to talk to some very interesting and worthy people working and contributing to Hertfordshire which was great. In addition, in November 2012 I was invited to attend the High Sheriffs justice service where I learned how senior High Court Judges are. Even if I learnt it after I had spoken to all of them!

So, after the second British Empire Medal presentations came my final duty as Lord Lieutenant’s Cadet. It was not an arduous duty; my job was to shadow HRH Prince William with Lady Verulam for the duration of the four hour visit. It was a fantastic day. Not only did I get to visit ‘The Making of Harry Potter: Studio Tour’ for the first time but I got to meet the future of the British Monarchy. Among others, I also spoke to JK Rowling, Helena Bonham Carter and several of the Chief Executives of Warner Bros. I got to see everything from props from the Batman trilogy to how 3D films are captured.

To summarise, I was extremely lucky to be offered the role in such a fantastic year. I cannot thank Susan Wright enough for putting in all the background organisation and for getting me involved in so many great events. And of course, Lady Verulam for putting up with me by her side for all of them! I would hold the position permanently if I could but it is only fair that I let someone else have a go. This has been the most memorable year of my seven years in the Air Training Corps. I have met so many people, from so many backgrounds. It has been incredible.

Fopr more information on the Air Cadets please visit http://www.raf.mod.uk/aircadets/