Greater Manchester Air Cadets mark 100 years of the RAF


With support from the British and French authorities, 70 Air Cadets took part in an expedition to France and Belgium to commemorate the foundation of the Royal Air Force during it’s centenary. The cadets came from across Greater Manchester and North Cheshire and during the first part of their visit they explored First World War battlefield sites and cemeteries. This was rather poignant as they found graves of relatives and the graves of young men who had recently joined the fledgling RAF. On 1st April the cadets paraded at the British Air Services Memorial at St Omer airfield; in 1918 this was RAF St Omer, the first RAF station and where the RAF began during the war. There they met with the president of the local commune and laid a wreath at the foot of the memorial.

Later that evening they travelled to the Menin Gate in Ypres for the last post ceremony. The Air Cadet contingent was the largest parade contingent and again they laid a wreath on behalf of the RAF and the Ministry of Defence. The cadets and staff found the experience to be deeply moving and felt enormous pride at having commemorated the foundations of the RAF and represented their country during the RAF’s 100th Brithday.

Reserve Forces