Flt Lt Terry Knights RAFVR(T) (Retired), has been awarded The British Empire Medal in the Queen’s birthday honours list for his voluntary service to young people and the community in Exmouth.

Mr Knights now 87, has been involved with 299 (Exmouth) Squadron of the Air Training Corps since 1971, increasing the number of parading recruits and overseeing the induction of the squadron’s first female cadet.

Devon and Somerset Air Cadets’ Wing Commander John Parsons said: “His peerless example has enthused hundreds of cadets as well as other volunteer staff and his exceptional personal qualities are an inspiration to all.”

At the end of his time as an air cadet Terry joined the RAF as a pilot where he completed three years of service before having to leave on health grounds in 1953.

Upon leaving he joined the air cadets squadron in Derby as a flying officer.

In the late 1960s his work took him to Canada, whilst there he joined No.1 Squadron Royal Canadian Air Cadets as Flying Training Officer.

In 1970 Terry returned to England and a year later he took command of Exmouth’s 299 Squadron. He has been involved ever since.

In the last 49 years he has overseen the development of training programmes and he also introduced the squadron to the Ten Tors challenge and the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme.

He retired from uniformed service in 1987 and continued with the squadron as a civilian instructor.

As well as volunteering with the air cadets he has also given up his time as a footpath warden in Exmouth for nearly 25 years.

Mr Knights has also volunteered at Age Concern Exmouth since 1995 and was involved in setting up a day centre for men with mental issues.

Congratulations and best wishes from all at Devon and Somerset Wing on your award.