Battlefields of Belgium and France tour.

Recently Air Cadets from 372 (Barry) Squadron recently travelled to Europe to
pay homage to those soldiers who lost their lives fighting for their countries in
the great wars along with Air Cadets from Squadrons from No.1 Welsh Wing. 
The visit took place over a long weekend and encompassed the war
memorials and battlefields of Ypres Salient, in Belgium and the Somme, in
France.


The cadets stayed as guests of the Belgium Army in Ypres and during their
time were able to parade with members of the local Fire Brigade performing
the moving ‘Last Post’ ceremony at the Menin Gate.  As a sign of the greatest
respect, the cadets laid poppy wreaths on behalf of the Royal British Legion
and 372 (Barry) Squadron.


Cadet Charlie Wrightson said, “We also went to Thiepval on the Somme to
see where the fierce fighting took place.  When you stand on the battlefields,
it’s amazing to think that in July 1916 this is where so many soldiers fought
and died.”


Of course the cadets are fully aware of the consequences for war for every
nation involved and they also made time to pay their respects at the Canadian
War Memorial, Vimy Ridge and the memorial at Thiepval, which is dedicated
to the 73,367 missing men of the Somme.  The cadets also paid their respects
to the war dead at the following cemeteries: Tyne Cot, Passchendaele, and
Langemarck. The Cadets also visited the new Welsh Memorial on Flanders
at Langemarck.


Officer Commanding 372 Squadron, Squadron Leader Jason Horton,
concluded, “It was a very busy few days with an enormous amount of
travelling.  However, the cadets all felt that it was a worthwhile and emotional
experience.  Seeing the battlefields and memorials at first hand brings history
closer to our present and not just left in the past.  These men who died for
their counties will not be forgotten by these cadets. This visit was kindly
supported by Barry Town Council grant for local organisations”.
The Air Cadets are now looking forward to an action packed and challenging
training programme including flying, gliding, shooting, sport, Duke of
Edinburgh, leadership training and aviation related visits.
If you have a spirit for adventure, 372 Squadron has vacancies for cadets
between 12 (and in school year 8) -17 years old and adult staff over 20 years
old.

The Squadron parade on Mondays & Wednesdays 7 – 9.30pm behind
Adams Funeral Parlour on Gladstone Road (by the Memorial Hall) or you can
contact the Squadron by email oc.372@aircadets.org .uk or visit www.372
squadron.org.uk for more information about becoming an instructor or Royal
Air Force Air Cadet.

Two of Barry’s cadets paying their respects.

Why not come along and see “What we do” for yourself.

Leave a Reply