The clouds were low and darkened as they began to settle over the Castle and City of Nottingham on the evening of Saturday 7 May 2011. But, this did not deter the 10 Squadrons of the South and East Midlands Wing which are based within, and upon the out skirts of the city, once again gathered to commemorate a Nottingham First World War hero on the anniversary of his death in 1917.
Captain Albert Ball, Victoria Cross, Distinguished Service Order and Two Bars, Military Cross, was only 20 years old when he was killed in action over the skies of France, but became a world wide known flying ace, serving with 56 Squadron Royal Flying Corps.
In honour to Captain Ball, representatives from 56 R Sqn RAF, including the present day commanding officer, Wing Commander S Parry MA, RAF, attended the parade. For the first time, the squadron paraded its own RAF Sqn Standard, with escort of rifles and fixed bayonets.
The massed standards of the local ATC Squadrons joined those of the ex servicemen’s associations and positioned themselves around the spectacular Albert Ball Memorial in the grounds of Nottingham Castle.
The Parade Warrant Officer for the event, Flight Sergeant Dan Haywood formed up and managed the assembled flights of 90 cadets with business like and military precision for which the South and East Midlands Wing is known, for the short service around the memorial.
After a well maintained and disciplined march past of the assembled senior officers and civic dignitaries, the parade was dispersed on the Castle Green, for what was once again a highly dignified and smart parade that shows the South and East Midlands Wing at it’s very best.
By WO R.C. Phillips