Over 200 cadets and staff from the Warwickshire & Birmingham Wing of the Air Training Corps took part in a parade through Daventry to mark the 65 th Anniversary of the formation of the Corps.
The parade was led by the band of 497 (Daventry) Squadron and marched through the town to the Holy Cross Church where a service was conducted by the Wing Padre Rev Brian Castle and assisted by the Central and East Regional Chaplain Rev Roy Muttram and vicar of Holy Cross Rev Owen Page.
During the service Wing and Squadron Banners were presented and the Regional chaplain reflected on the successes of the Corps during the last 65 years.
Although the 5 th February 1941 marks the 65 Anniversary of the Air Training Corps our local Nuneaton Squadron will be celebrating its 67 th Anniversary this year. The Air Cadet organisation became established in Nuneaton on 9th May 1939 with the founding of No. 121 ( King Edward VI School ) Squadron, Air Defence Cadet Corps. Within the borough, enthusiasm for the Corps grew and in February 1941, 121 (King Edward VI School) Squadron became part of the newly formed Air Training Corps and a second unit No. 411 (Borough of Nuneaton) Squadron was formed.
After the war the number of cadets reduced as the need to recruit for the RAF diminished. On the 8 th November 1946 the two Nuneaton Squadrons amalgamated under the command of Flt. Lt Branston RAFVR(T) and became No. 121 (Borough of Nuneaton ) Squadron. The Squadrons title was later revised to No. 121 ( Nuneaton ) Squadron, a title that remains to this day. On the 28 th January 1949 the squadron moved to a new location in the Pingles Fields off Attlborough Road (now known as, the Ribbonfields).
Over the last 67 years the Squadron has contributed to the education of many young people between the age of 13 and 22 and continues to make a significant contribution within the local community.
Following the service the parade marched past the VIPS and several 'old boys' of the Wing and everyone returned to Daventry Ex Services Club for a buffet and refreshment.
The salute was taken by taken by the Deputy Wing Commander and several VIPs who had attended the event including
- Her Majesty's Lord Lieutenant for the County of Northamptonshire Lady Juliet Townsend LVO .
- His Worship the Mayor of Daventry Cllr Malcolm Adcock & Deputy Mayor
- The Chairman of Daventry District Council Cllr Elizabeth Griffin
- Air Commodore Duncan Mitchell ADC medical policy advisor RAF
- Group Captain J A F Ford Regional Commandant Central & East Region ATC
The Deputy Wing Commander Squadron Leader Martin Harrison said "The parade was a huge success, the weather was kind to us and it was good to see so many cadets on parade who had given up their valuable Sunday to support what is undoubtedly one of the most important occasions in the Corps calendar, especially as the day was actually on 5 th February 65 years after the Corps formation. I am also grateful to the VIPs who supported us and it is encouraging to know that the Wing receives support from such a wide range of influential people"