Cadets help honour Forces

The Portlethen Squadron Air Cadets and Stonehaven and District Sea Cadets helped honour the armed forces this week at a ceremony in Aberdeen.

The two caddet teams were in attendance as a special flag was raised in honour of Britain’s Armed Forces at Aberdeenshire Council headquarters on Monday (June 18).

The commemorative Armed Forces Day flag was raised at Woodhill House in Aberdeen in front of dozens of guests, including representatives from all the Armed Forces.

The Provost of Aberdeenshire, Cllr Jill Webster, led the event with a speech paying tribute to the brave men and women who serve and have served in the country’s Armed Forces.

She told the audience: “The decision to serve our country, particularly at a time of continuing conflict in Afghanistan, is one which takes enormous courage. The sacrifices made by these brave men and women cannot and will not be forgotten.”

Lord Lieutenant of Aberdeenshire, James Ingleby, said: “The Royal Regiment of Scotland, both the regulars and the members of the Territorial Army, continue to play a pivotal role.

“Our thoughts today must be with all our troops who are presently deployed throughout the world who have committed themselves to ensuring a safer future for us all.”

Lord Lieutenant of Kincardineshire, Carol Kinghorn, recounted to the audience of her trip aboard a boat in the Royal Flotilla with her husband as part of the Diamond Jubilee earlier this month.

She said: “At the head of the flotilla was the Royal barge, the 94ft long Gloriana, a boat powered by 18 oarsmen, amongst whom were three servicemen who lost limbs in Iraq or Afghanistan. It is people such as all of these to whom we pay tribute today.”

They were joined by Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Thorp, commanding officer of the Aberdeen Universities Officers Training Corps, who said: “North-east Scotland and Aberdeenshire can be proud of its military heritage.

“For many years servicemen and women from this area have served in the British Armed Forces either locally at the former bases such as RAF Dyce, or around the globe.

“They have fought in all the major conflicts of recent years and today fight on the ground or in the air over Afghanistan, or serve on Her Majesty’s ships protecting the sea lanes that are vital for our trade.”

The speeches were followed by a two-minute silence before the commemorative flag was raised by Cadet Warrant Officer Andrew Low, of 865 (Portlethen) Squadron Air Cadets. He was joined by Leading Cadet Ross Lawson, of Stonehaven and District (475) Unit Sea Cadets, and Nathan Smith, Cadet Company Sergeant Major, 2nd Battalion The Highlanders.

The three are Lord Lieutenant Cadets, each chosen for showing special leadership qualities and skills within their units.

The Armed Forces Day flag will fly until Armed Forces Day on Saturday, June 30. Now in its fourth year, the national event is a chance for everyone in the country to recognise the hard work and dedication of personnel representing Britain across the world.