The Armistice Day parade in the Warwickshire town of Bedworth is always a very memorable occasion for everyone who takes part but this year 11 th November was an even more memorable day for three Cadets from 121 ( Nuneaton ) Squadron.
Eighteen year-old Cadet Flight Sergeant Jonathan Kendall and fifteen year-old Cadets Scott Mainwaring and Alice Hartopp who took part in the Bedworth Armistice Day event had the honor of meeting His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester at a reception which took place after the parade.
Flight Sergeant Kendall had also been selected to act as wreath bearer to the guest of honor, His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester. As such Jonathan had a pivotal role to play in the Remembrance Service, which was held at the towns War Memorial.
In front of literally hundreds of onlookers Jonathan stood to attention at his post in front of the Memorial during the Silence waiting for the moment when he would trigger the start of the wreath laying ceremony. As a lone piper began to play the lament Jonathan smartly marched up to HRH The Duke of Gloucester and presented him with his wreath.
When presented to His Royal Highness at the reception, The Duke of Gloucester asked Cadets Scott Mainwaring, Alice Hartopp and their escorting officer, Flying Officer Norma Easterlow about activities available to young people in the Air Cadets. HRH The Duke of Gloucester said that he had been most impressed by the Squadrons band and the turnout of the cadets.
HRH the Duke of Gloucester, the Queen's cousin and 19 th in line to the throne, wore the uniform of an Air Marshall to mark the 90 th Anniversary of the formation of the Royal Air Force. His presence and the fact that it was also the 90 th Anniversary of the Armistice that ended the First World War, helped to swell the crowds to record numbers.
Flight Lieutenant Paul Hincks of 121 Squadron who also attended the civic reception said, “Everyone I spoke to said how impressed they were with the cadets and many of them specifically commented on how well Flight Sergeant Kendall conducted himself during the service”.
He went on to say, “It must have been a rather daunting experience for Jonathan, standing out there on his own in front of everyone during the first part of the service waiting for his big moment. All I can say is that he did an excellent job and he and all of the other cadets that took part in the service should be justly proud of themselves.”