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An Air Cadet stands vigil at the Nuneaton War memorial during the wreath laying ceremonyAir Cadets from 121 ( Nuneaton ) Squadron joined thousands of local people as they paid tribute to those who gave their lives in the service of their country.

The Squadron normally takes part in two services of Remembrance. One on Armistice Day itself and a second on Remembrance Sunday however this year the squadron was invited to take part in three acts of Remembrance, a Triple Tribute.

On Friday 11th of November the Squadron attended the Armistice Day service and parade in Bedworth. This parade is unique because the local branch of the Royal British Legion has stuck rigidly to the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month to honour the war dead every year, since the end of the First World War. Many hundreds of veterans from all over the country return to Bedworth with their standards every year to remember their comrades and meet up with many old ex-service pals.

One of the highlights of the service this year came when three World War Two Dakota aircraft flew in tight formation over the war memorial and dropped thousands of poppies.

During the march past the band of 121 Squadron had the honour of leading the cadet contingent of the parade through the streets of Bedworth. The marching order of this element of the parade however is not as one would expect. For several years a large contingent from the Parachute Regiment Association has insisted on falling in behind the cadet band so that they can sing along with the wartime tunes played by the band.

 

The second Act of Remembrance of the day took place during the evening in Coventry when the Royal British Legion (No 4 Branch) conducted their own service. During the ceremony the standard bearers from the Royal British Legion and other ex-service organisations dipped their standards, in salute, as the trumpeters of 121 Squadron played the Last Post and Reveille.

On Sunday 13th of November the Squadron joined the ranks of veterans from the Royal British Legion and other ex-service organisations on parade at the Nuneaton War Memorial in Riversley Park.

A large crowd stood in silent remembrance as the standards were dipped in salute as the bugler sounded the Last Post. An armed cadet honour guard formed by cadets from all three services and commanded by CPO Paul Kitchen, stood vigil at the War memorial during the wreath laying ceremony, which was led by the Mayor of Nuneaton and Bedworth and other civic leaders, service representatives and members of ex-service organisations.

Following the service the parade led by the band of 121 Squadron formed up for the march past, along Coton Road and past the saluting base at the Council House. The armed cadet honour guard formed an escort to the standards of the Royal British Legion and other ex-service organisations.

The Act of Remembrance has particular significance this year as it is the 60 th anniversary of the end of the Second World War it's been a busy weekend but we are only too glad to have been able to take part in so many services and share the experience with so many people of all ages. In the past, most people have associated Remembrance Day as a time to remember those who had given their lives during the two World Wars. In recent years the large contingents of World War II veterans attending both the Nuneaton and Bedworth services, have been swelled by servicemen and women who served in other conflicts. At a time when thousands of our forces are serving in Iraq and other trouble spots throughout the word, Remembrance Day has an even deeper meaning for the Squadron as we pray for the safety of many of our former cadets who are currently serving in the armed forces.

121 Squadron Tribute to the fallen

121 Squadron Band leading the cadet contingent through the streets of Bedworth - Click to enlarge
Bedworth - With over 40 standards this was one of the biggest parades of recent years – Click to enlarge
Bedworth - Pipe Band leads the way for the first contingent – Click to enlarge
Coventry - trumpeters of 121 Squadron played the Last Post and Reveille – Click to enlarge
Nuneaton - War Memorial in Riversley Park – Click to enlarge
Nuneaton - Armed cadet honour guard stands vigil at the War memorial during the wreath laying ceremony– Click to enlarge
Nuneaton - Armed cadet honour guard form up for march past – Click to enlarge

The Royal British Legion was created to preserve the spirit of fellowship and service to others formed by all ranks and to maintain, in a strong, stimulating, united comradeship, all those who have served in H.M. Forces, or Auxiliary Forces or who are still serving so that neither their efforts nor their interests shall be forgotten; and that their welfare and that of the dependants of those who died in the service of their country may be safeguarded; and that just and equitable treatment shall be secured to them in respect of the difficulties caused in their lives as a result of their service.

121 Squadron ATC is affiliated to the Nuneaton & Stockingford branch of the Royal British Legion.


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Page last updated, Sunday, 17 September, 2006 10:15 PM .