19 May 2019
Cadets from Stanley, Chester le Street, Consett, Birtley, Washington, Sunderland and Durham took part in the celebrations over the two days. Once again, our Band & Bugles provided terrific entertainment on the bandstand and leading the parade through the 1940’s town in style!
Empire Day was first celebrated in 1902 and was traditionally held on 24th May on the birthday of Queen Victoria. The day was intended to encourage people, especially children, to be aware of their duties as citizens of the British Empire. So many different youth organisations attended in the sizzling temperatures throughout the open-air museum, also participating in a parade from the Wagonway to the Events field through the historic settings.
Given that Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of County Durham Mrs Sue Snowdon was otherwise engaged at celebrations at Buckingham Palace, her deputy Lord-Lieutenant, Chief Constable Mike Barton saw over proceedings today.
Flag Days were held by organisations during the First World War to raise money for causes including soldiers on the front line, prisoners of war and support for disabled servicemen. We recognised the important contribution young people made towards fundraising during the First World War.
Captain William Oliver, Second in Command, B Company, Durham ACF said “the weekend has been a resounding success, it was a pleasure to see so many different youth organisations come together and celebrate a common cause. Thank you to Beamish Museum on behalf of Durham ACF for yet another successful event. Our cadets have had a brilliant weekend and so many youngsters were able to participate in the parade both days and appreciate the history and future of their contribution to their local communities”.
Lord-Lieutenants Cadet of County Durham Colour Serjeant Rachel Ivory, 16 from Ushaw Moor received a surprise presentation from the Deputy Lord-Lieutenant. Rachel was promoted to Cadet Company Sergeant Major in front of the entire parade. Rachel said, “today has been amazing, not just for my promotion but to see so many organisations and over 600 youngsters on parade was overwhelming”.
Colour Serjeant James Godfrey, 17 from Chester le Street also a Lord-Lieutenants Cadet of County Durham said, “I have really enjoyed the celebrations over the weekend, it is a huge honour to participate in such a historic tradition and march through Beamish Museum as hundreds of members of the public watched on and applauded”.
The Army Cadet Force gives young people - from all walks of life - access to fun, friendship, action and adventure. We challenge young people to learn more, do more and try more. We inspire them to aim high and go further in life, no matter what they aim to do. With 41,000 cadets and 9,500 adults in more than 1,600 locations around the UK, the Army Cadets makes a big impact on young people, parents and communities.