SSI Thomson, who is the Detachment Commander for Fortrose Detachment, has been volunteering with the Army Cadets since September 2004. Flora is well known face within in Battalion and is a motherly figure to the cadets feel they can talk to about anything. She is always wanting to ensure that her cadets get the most of their cadet experience, where during the First World War Centenary she led groups of cadets from the Battalion on Battlefield Tours of Belgium and France and encouraged the cadets to research beforehand to see if their families took part in the war and if any relatives were buried at any of the cemeteries they visited for them to pay their respects.
On top of taking part in the military training side of the cadets, Flora is also heavily involved with Music aspect of the organisation by being involved within the Battalion’s Pipes & Drums where she helps out at Pipe Band activities. SSI Thomson is always on hand to support the band, ensuring that there is always adult supervision allowing cadets to attend events up and down the country, from the Rorke’s Drift Concert in Wales to the Horse Guards Parade in London in front of Royalty. As well as giving cadets new experiences, adults are encouraged to experience new things also and Flora has taken advantage of that by even learning about Piping & Drumming and has even completed the Army Cadet Drum Major’s Course.
Locally she is very involved in the community and during Remembrance she collects alongside the Fortrose cadets for the Scottish Poppy Appeal, where she has been a collector for 30 years. To help mark the Appeal’s 100th Anniversary in 2021, Flora took part in the Poppy Pledge to help raise £1921 by cycling round the Black Isle – where she raised £4,400 for the Poppy Appeal.
SSI Thomson received her clasp, by the Battalion’s outgoing Commandant Colonel Mike MacDonald, during the start of the joint Ross and Caithness Company Training Weekend – which Flora was assisting at – held at the Battalion’s Cadet Training Centre in Dingwall.