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The Air Training Corps’ 75th Anniversary Celebrations

Tree planting for Air Cadet Anniversary.

Royal Air Force Air Cadets throughout Devon and Somerset are celebrating the 75th anniversary of the organisations foundation which took place on the 5th of February 1941.  The Air Training Corps was established on this date by the issuing of a Royal Warrant from His Majesty King George VI.  The Air Cadets motto is ‘Venture Adventure’ and it is one of the country’s largest and most popular youth organisations.

Dobbies 75th Anniversary Trees Cadet.jpg

Flight Lieutenant Adam Scott and Cadet Ben Cox of 1182 (Shepton Mallet) Squadron were at hand to receive a number of donated trees which were provided by the Shepton Mallet Dhobbies garden centre during a recent presentation held at the store.

The trees will be used for planted during civic ceremonies and events throughout both counties during the cadet’s anniversary year.

Amy Milverton, the store Community Champion and Horticulture Manager, Michael Webb were able to give expert advice on care and planting of the trees.  Michael said “Dobbies Shepton Mallet are pleased to be able to help our local Air Cadets mark their 75th anniversary, we hope you have a great year”.

Dobbies 75th Anniversary Trees

Air Cadets are also marking the anniversary of their formation in other many ways including open days and a commemorative parade to be held in Taunton on Saturday the 11th of June.

Lord Lieutenant’s Awards

Lord Lieutenant’s Award for Exmouth’s Commanding Officer

An Exminster man has been honoured for outstanding service to the Air Training Corps, which he joined as a Cadet in the early 1980s – and never quite left!

LL DevonFlight Lieutenant Richard Bagnall, 44, received his second Certificate for Meritorious Service from the Lord Lieutenant of Devon, David Fursdon, during ceremonies at the Council House, Plymouth. The Certificate recognises service of an exceptionally high order by people connected with the Reserve Forces or uniformed cadet organisations.

Richard’s early experience as a Cadet was in Exeter at the age of 13. When the time came to leave, he became an adult instructor. “They never really let me go,” he says.

His long service continues in his present role of Officer Commanding 299 (Exmouth) Squadron which he has held since 2004.

The ATC is now very much a family affair. His elder son CWO Daniel Bagnall, aged 18, has recently taken part in Operation Global Dragon, an ATC adventure training expedition to the Drakensberg Mountains in South Africa. Younger son Matthew, aged 15, parades with the Exmouth Squadron.


Lord Lieutenant’s Award for Weston-Super-Mare’s Commanding Officer

Flt Lt Steve Manville, Officer Commanding 290 (Weston-Super-Mare) Squadron LL Somerset
received the prestigious Certificate for Meritorious Service from the Lord Lieutenant, Annie Maw, during ceremonies at the Bishop’s Palace, Wells. The Certificate recognises service of an exceptionally high order by people connected with the Reserve Forces or Uniformed Cadet organisations.

Steve has been involved with the ATC for 25 years, since he was a 14-year-old cadet. “I wanted to be an RAF pilot, as every Air Cadet does. But after I became a Senior Cadet and then Warrant Officer Cadet I went straight on to be an Adult Instructor.

“I then joined the staff, gained my Commission and became Officer Commanding 10 years ago.”

“It’s great to see them (Cadets) develop from a shy 12-year-old. When they leave at 20, they have so much confidence because of this organisation. Some can fly a glider solo at 16 – before they can drive a car.


Cadet Warrant Officer Volunteers in North East Tanzania



Katy Legg, a Cadet Warrant Officer at 1182 Shepton Mallet Squadron in Devon Somerset Wing, has been volunteering with the Raleigh International Citizen Service, living and working with a small team of volunteers for 10 weeks at Kinnihe village in the Karatu region of north east Tanzania, close to Mount Kilimanjaro.

The International Citizen Service (ICS) is a government funded development programme bringing young people together to help fight poverty overseas and in the UK.

Katy and Team Kinnihe (Charlie 9 group) initially concentrated on helping to preserve the Community’s remaining water source from soil erosion, a major priority. Without a water source the community would have to disperse. With the guidance of the Diocese of Mbulu Development Department, Team Kinnihe worked with teams of villagers to dig contours into the side of the valley, to prevent soil wash by winter rains into the natural springs.

Katy goes on to explain: “In the second phase our group built several rocket-stoves and tippy-taps spread over three miles around the village. We spent time teaching the people of Kinnihe the importance of hand washing and clean water. I enjoyed teaching in the local primary school the most: the children had so much enthusiasm for learning, it was inspiring. Their happy faces made me smile every time!”

Volunteering 2“My cadet NCO experience helped enormously when I was team leader on our first week of placement. Learning new skills is unavoidable; for example, cooking for sixteen people is extremely challenging. With unfamiliar ingredients, few utensils, no furniture, and no cook book, necessity becomes the mother of invention!”

Commanding Officer, Flight Lieutenant Adam Scott, pleased for Katy’s safe return, said:

“This has been an amazing experience for Katy. She has been telling us how much more prepared she was for things like camping compared to the rest of the team. I’m delighted that Air Cadets could provide her with the knowledge and confidence to enjoy living in such basic conditions in so remote an area.”

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