Freedom of Ely Event

Ely Detachment takes part in Armed Forces Day

Freedom of Ely Event

27 June 2023

  • Cambridgeshire ACF

On Saturday 24th June, Ely Detachment gathered on the Cathedral’s Cross Green to take part in the city’s Armed Forces Day event. This involved setting up a recruiting stand alongside several military charities, meeting the public and showing off their first aid skills. At the end of the day, the Detachment joined the Air Cadets for a ceremony in which they were re-awarded Freedom of the City.

6 D2 A9993

The Mayor opens the event alongside our cadets.

The event was opened by the Town Crier and by the Mayor of Ely, Cllr Chris Phillips, who praised the contributions of the Armed Forces and Cadets Forces to our country and local community. He said; ‘Today is an important day, for the City of Ely and for our cadets, who are receiving the well deserved Freedom of Ely. This is the highest honour the city can award. Our cadets are the very best of our young people, and a fine example to the rest of us.’

6 D2 A0061

The Deputy Mayor inspects some ration packs.

Having set up their stand, the cadets set out to spread awareness of the opportunities that the Army Cadet Force provides, demonstrating their equipment, and telling prospective cadets and parents about their adventures. Deputy Mayor Cllr Rob Pitt, a retired Rifles officer, chatted to our cadets who enjoyed showing him their Army ration packs, and he told them something about his service and explained how Army rations had changed over the years. Many prospective cadets and parents stopped to talk with the cadets and adults also, who engaged them with demonstrations of first aid, rations, and equipment.

6 D2 A0133

Cadets show their equipment to the public.

Other displays at the event included a 1960’s Army ambulance, which the cadets posed with for pictures.

6 D2 A0033

With the Army ambulance.

In the afternoon, the Detachment was joined by a large group of Air Cadets for a march and parade where they would be inspected by the Mayor and presented with the Freedom of Ely. Cdt LCpl Czarnobaj was the ACF standard bearer for the parade. He said; ‘its a bit scary, but exciting, and I am ready for it. It is great to have the honour to carry the colours of the Detachment.’

6 D2 A0147

Standard bearer Cdt LCpl Czarnobaj.

6 D2 A0430

The parade.

At the end of the ceremony, the Mayor of Ely presented Detachment Commander Lt Daryl Garner with the Freedom of Ely Certificate. The Freedom of Ely is an historic title that confers the right to parade through the city with standards. In reality, its meaning is largely symbolic, demonstrating the respect and appreciation that the city holds for the Detachment. It acknowledges their contributions, their dedication to serving their community, and their commitment to upholding the values of the Army Cadet Force.

6 D2 A0507

The Mayor inspects our cadets.

Untitled 1g

Lt Garner & the certificate.

Text and photos by SI Doug Stuart