For five of Nuneaton 's Air Cadets, this year's Wing Banner Drill Competition was the first time they had ever been called upon to parade their Squadron's Banner as a full ceremonial team.
As with any formation within the forces, being chosen to carry or escort your units Banner comes as a great honour and is normally reserved for the more senior members of the Squadron.
But with only weeks of training before they were expected to parade their banner in competition against 26 other units, the five junior members of 121 (Nuneaton) Squadron, Cdt Paige Eaves who had previously carried the Squadron Banned in parades but not in competition, together with her team Cdt Hollie Farmer, Faith Hughes, Daniel Humpage and Shaun Hadley, who had never had any previous Banner Drill training found themselves well and truly in the spotlight.
The Banner Drill Competition, requires the Banner Bearer and escorts to undertake a complex sequence of ceremonial drill manoeuvres all of which represent the uncasing, parading and re-casing of the Squadron Banner.
Officer Commanding 121 ( Nuneaton ) Squadron Flight Lieutenant Paul Hincks said, “I would like to thank our Banner Bearers for all their hard work over the past weeks. Not having had any previous Banner Drill competition experience, and in the very best traditions of the Squadron they all stepped up to the mark and paraded our Banner with the honour and pride that it deserves”.
“We didn't win the competition and you wouldn't think we had much to shout about, but quite the opposite, Cdt Paige Eaves as Banner Bearer did a brilliant job, keeping the banner under control in such high winds is no easy task and she also managed to remember all the complex commands. Our First time Banner escorts, Cdt Hollie Farmer, Faith Hughes, Daniel Humpage and Shaun Hadley also put on a fantastic performance, quite plainly they should all be proud of themselves”.
“The competition judge made a specific point of congratulating our team. He was particularly impressed at how well they had done given the fact that there were no NCO’s in the team. Once again we couldn’t have asked for more, so smart and a credit to the whole Squadron. A fantastic demonstration of how good drill can be when you get it right. A massive cheer from the whole Squadron for an outstanding performance”