By 2Lt Pete Jackson, Detachment Commander Levensulme, No 3 (Somme) Company
Just over 50 years ago a young under officer, Mr Martyn ‘Zak’ Coombes was based at the Levenshulme Army Cadet Force Unit.
The cadets at the time decided that ‘Mr Coombes’ required a swagger stick to complete his duty ensemble and took it upon themselves to make one.
Time passed, cadets moved on and Mr Coombes moved to Gloucestershire. The stick remained next to his bed for the next 50 years until Mr Coombes had to downsize his home. He reached out to Greater Manchester ACF and offered the stick to them.
The offer was gleefully taken up by Levenshulme Detachment as the spiritual home of the stick, where it will become an annual award for the cadet who has displayed the greatest application of the values and standards of the ACF.
2nd Lieutenant Peter Jackson, Levenshulme’s current Detachment Commander said “It might look like a bit of stick with aluminium ferrules, but what it is imbibed with is the very spirit of what we strive to achieve in the ACF. That Mr Coombes inspired the cadets to create this for him is testimony to the enduring nature of our values and standards.”
If you were one of the cadets who first created the stick or were a member of Levenshulme Detachment, please get in touch and we will endeavour to put you in contact with Mr Coombes who would love to hear from you.