On Sunday 19th September cadets and staff from Nottingham’s ATC squadrons commemorated the 70th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain. A church service at St Mary’s in the Lace Market was followed with a parade through the City centre to the Council House in Old Market Square. This parade is an important event in the Air Cadet calendar as they come together to remember those who served during this pivotal moment in Britain’s history.
Flt Lt Phil Bannister VR (T) and other members of staff along with 15 cadets represented 1359 (Beeston) Squadron. In addition 1359 had been given the honour of providing the South and East Midlands Wing Banner Squad for the parade. The banner squad had won the Wing’s inaugural Banner Drill competition a few months earlier and so were well placed to carry out this duty.
The squad was made up of the banner bearer, Cadet Sgt Simon Ranson and escorts Cadet Cpl’s Beth Denham and Hannah Smith. The Banner Warrant Officer was Cadet Flt Sgt Adam Hill who had a personal reason to be proud of his role in the parade.
Flt Sgt Hill’s great-granddad was a fitter with 504 (County of Nottingham) Squadron and served with the unit during the Battle of France and the Battle of Britain. Flt Sgt Hill commented “Despite having lived in California for many years my great-granddad has followed my cadet career very closely since I joined 1359 five years ago. I keep him up to date with the activities I’ve taken part in and have sent him photos as I have been promoted. He has sent me many mementoes of his time in the RAF, including his logbook from his time later in the war when he was a flight engineer. It’s very moving to hear and read his stories of the bravery of the young men and women who gave so much. I am immensely proud to have been able to carry out the role of Banner Warrant Officer on the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain and to be there to remember the role that he and so many like him played in ensuring Britain remained a free country.”
Following the parade through the city the Lord Mayor of Nottingham inspected the assembled cadets and veterans. As the parade was dismissed the large crowd of onlookers who had gathered to watch the proceedings broke out into a spontaneous round of applause, providing a fitting end to such a moving occasion.
CI Mike Hill
Media and Communications Officer
1359 (Beeston) Squadron