On a cold and wet evening in Derbyshire, Cadets, staff and distinguished guests gathered at 126 (City of Derby) Squadron to witness the presentation of the Dacre Sword to the best Cadet in the UK for 2008.
CWO Matt Ireland learned that he had won the Dacre Sword in May, but the ultimate honour was to be presented with the Dacre Sword at a special ceremony. Distinguished guests included Air Commodore Stewart, Commandant Air Cadets, Group Captain Morrell, Regional Commandant Central & East Region and Wing Commander Dickinson, Wing Commander South & East Midlands Wing.
Following an introduction by 126 Squadron Commander, Sqn Ldr Ian Marshall and a presentation of CWO Ireland’s achievements, the Dacre Sword was presented by Group Captain Dacre. This was followed by an address by Air Commodore Stewart.
CWO Ireland said in his acceptance speech, “I couldn’t believe I had won the Dacre Sword”. CWO Ireland went on to thank his family, squadron staff and fellow cadets, who had all helped him to reach the pinnacle of his ATC career.
After the presentations, the distinguished guests were escorted around 126 Squadron headquarters. They were given a demonstration by the squadron corps of drums who will soon compete in the Corps drum competition and the squadron rifle drill display team. The guests also watched cadets shooting, modelling and climbing.
CWO Ireland, 19, will remain with Derby Squadron until early 2009. He will then transfer to Adult Volunteer and hopes to gain his VR(T) commission.
At the end of a very memorable evening, Sqn Ldr Marshall said, “this has been an extremely important evening for 126 Squadron. We are all very proud of what CWO Ireland has achieved and we were also very proud to show off the Squadron to our guests.”
Flying Officer Jackie Barker
126 (City of Derby) Air Training Corps