Cadets march for RAF's centenary
The royal wedding was not the only celebration on Saturday May 19 as hundreds of air cadets marched through the streets of Chichester to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the RAF.
The Sussex Wing Parade of groups from throughout the county assembled in Litten Gardens before stepping smartly along East Street and across to the cathedral for a special service.
The uniformed cadets were an impressive sight in the parade with the Wing band leading the procession, with well-loved refrains including ‘Oh when the Saints’ and ‘Sussex by the Sea’.
Towards the end, an array of standards were held in formation, proudly displaying the emblems of each cadet group taking part to complement the large Union Jack carried in the centre of the parade.
Wing Commander Helene Gould said young people taking part were ‘turned out immaculately’ and the parade became a joint celebration of the RAF’s centenary and the royal wedding.
She said: “It was a lot of work but it was amazing.
“Speaking to the cadets afterwards, they enjoyed themselves, they were all so pleased to be part of the day.”
She said the ‘icing on the cake’ on the day was the announcement of a new Duke and Duchess of Sussex and she hoped the royal couple could attend similar events in future.
“To have their support for the youth of Sussex and the Sussex RAF cadets would be very special,” she said.
“We were on the streets in support of them.”
Posting on Facebook after the event, the Sussex Wing Warrant Officer Colin Cordell commended everyone who took part for their efforts in making the day a success.
He said: “You guys did the wing proud, you did the hard work, you guys made it all work.
“I only gave a bit of guidance and did my favourite duty, shouting drill commands.
“So thank you all for making my duty an easy one and making me proud of being the Wing Warrant Officer of Sussex Wing.
“My proposal to the Wing Commander and senior Wing staff team for next year’s parade is to get the new Duke and Duchess of Sussex to our wing parade, now that would be an even more awesome day.