On a warm, sunny, autumn Sunday afternoon, over three hundred Air Cadets paraded through Rutland’s County Town of Oakham to the beat of the South & East Midlands Wing’s Massed Band.
The Cadets from across the East and South Midlands were celebrating the Tenth Anniversary of the formation of the South & East Midlands Wing, Air Training Corps, an amalgamation of the old East Midlands and South Midlands Wings.
The South & East Midlands Wing Massed Band leads the tenth anniversary parade through Oakham Town Centre.
The celebration began with a Church Service held in Oakham’s All Saints Church in front of a glittering array of senior officers and Lord Lieutenants from across the Counties within the Wing. Banners from every Squadron paraded and were laid, for blessing, behind the altar. The Wing Banner was given pride of place being laid on a “drum head” before the altar. The Sermon was delivered by the Reverend Tom Tait, Corps Chaplain, with readings by Wing Commander Nigel Dickinson, Officer Commanding South and East Midlands Wing and Cadet Corporal Davies of 2248 (County of Rutland) Squadron.
After the service the Cadets formed up behind the combined Wing Massed Band and marched proudly through the Oakham streets and passed the saluting Dias where the Salute was taken by Dr Laurence Howard OBE JP, HM Lord-Lieutenant of Rutland. The following were also present at the saluting Dias;
Air Chief Marshal Sir Thomas Kennedy
Group Captain Paul Higgins – Station Commander of RAF Wittering
Group Captain Gary Waterfall – Station Commander of RAF Cottesmore
Mr Anthony Worth – HM Lord-Lieutenant of Lincolnshire
Sir John Greenaway – HM Deputy Lord Lieutenant for Northamptonshire
Mr Ian Linney – HM Deputy Lord Lieutenant for Nottinghamshire
Wing Commander Phil Giles RAFVR Ret’d
Wing Commander Martin Nash RAFVR Ret’d
Mrs Jan Fillingham – Oakham Town Mayor
Dr Laurence Howard OBE JP, HM Lord-Lieutenant of Rutland taking the Salute.
Wing Commander Nigel Dickinson commented: “it was a tremendous success and I was proud to see the whole Wing represented. The turnout of the cadets and the staff was exceptional, it would be a shame to have to wait another ten years to show what the Wing can do”.
After the parade, refreshments were served in the Headquarters of 2248 (County of Rutland) Squadron where a special anniversary cake was cut by HM Lord-Lieutenant of Rutland and Wing Commander Dickinson.
The Parade and Church Service are the closing acts of a wonderful year of celebration. An activities and gliding weekend earlier in the year saw a record number of glider launches in one day and an Anniversary Ball attracted Staff and senior Cadets on a glittering occasion. To crown the year, the Wing emphatically won the Central & East Region inter-Wing Field Day.
By Flt Lt Allan Munns – Wing Media & Communications Officer, South & East Midlands Wing.