Nottingham Air Cadets Remember Albert Ball VC
On a cool and breezy spring evening the people of Nottingham remembered their World War I fighter ace and Victoria Cross recipient, Captain Albert Ball with a parade and Act of Remembrance.
The Nottingham Branch of the Royal Air Force Association (RAFA) organise the Parade which is attended by Air Cadets from across Nottingham. The Parade is held every year on the anniversary Albert Ball’s disappearance in France on the evening of 7th May 1917 after taking off for an evening offensive patrol over the Arras Front. His posthumous Victoria Cross was awarded a month later to mark his heroic achievements.
Over 120 Air Cadets, smartly turned out, proudly marched through the Castle Grounds behind the Ruddington Army Cadet’s Band.
The Squadron Colour of 56 ® Squadron from RAF Waddington led the Parade with a full Colour escort of Squadron personnel. Captain Ball was one of the founder members of 56 Squadron.
In addition to the cadets from all the Nottingham Air Training Corps Squadrons with their banners , the banners of the RAFA, Long Eaton Branch of the Royal British Legion and other veteran associations were paraded. The Banner of South and East Midlands Wing, Air Training Corps was also present with an escort of senior cadets from 1360 (Stapleford & Sandiacre) Squadron.
The Parade formed up around the memorial statue of Captain Ball in the Castle Grounds where a short service was conducted by the Reverend Andy Morris, Vicar of St Matthews and St Phillips, Bestwood.
Wreaths were laid by The Lord Mayor of the City of Nottingham, Councillor Melita Bryan, Wing Commander Ian Middleton MBE, Officer Commanding 56 (Reserve) Squadron from RAF Waddington, Wing Commander Nigel Dickinson OBE, Officer Commanding South & East Midlands Wing, Air Training Corps, and Mrs Mary Bell on behalf of the Royal Air Force Association
Parade Commander, Squadron Leader Andy Pass, led the cadets on a March Past with the salute being taken by the assembled dignitaries.
“It makes me feel proud to command these smart youngsters who have turned out to remember Nottingham’s Hero. It is essential that this generation remember the past sacrifices, and sacrifices being made today, for their freedom. The Air Cadets from Nottingham and the surrounding area, are a credit to the City, their parents and themselves ” said Wing Commander Dickinson.
Cadets represented all the City of Nottingham Squadrons as well as those from Long Eaton, Ilkeston, Stapleford, Newton, Tollerton and Beeston.