This August five cadets from 1188 (Coalville) Squadron Air Training Corps went on a week long camp to France and Belgium. They took part in parades and trips to commemorate the 100 Year Anniversary of the Battle of the Somme.
They accompanied Cadets from 126 City of Derby Squadron 1211 Swadlincote Squadron.
The Battle of the Somme was fought in northern France. It was one of the bloodiest battles of World War One. For five months the British and French armies fought the Germans on a 15-mile front.
The aims of the battle were to relieve the French Army fighting at Verdun and to weaken the German Army. The Allies were unable to break through German lines. In total, there were over one million dead and wounded on all sides.
The Cadets visited many of the memorials to the fallen including Theipval Cemetery, Tyne Cot cemetery and they took part in the Sunset ceremony at the Menin Gate in Ypres. The cadets also travelled to the German War Cemetery at Langemark.
There were also visits to a high ropes course and water park along with a trip to The Waterloo Battlefield which had its own 200th anniversary in June this year.”
Sgt (ATC). Martyn Smith who accompanied the Cadets said “It was a fantastic opportunity and we feel it was important for our Cadets to visit some of the memorials in order to appreciate and understand just what the members of the Forces went through and sacrificed. My Great Grandfather fought at Ypres, he was lucky enough to come home but suffered all his life in the aftermath of being gassed. Both myself and the Cadets found it a very poignant experience and are glad we got the opportunity to go”.
Flight Lieutenant Rebekah Harrison-Page RAF VR (T) said “ I am really grateful to Derby for organising this overseas camp, especially in such a historic year, it was a fantastic opportunity for the cadets.”