North London Army Cadets pay respects at the Menin Gate

29 October 2013

Thirty Army Cadets and their leaders travelled to France and Belgium last week on an educational WW1 Battlefield tour, the highlight of which was the wreath laying ceremony at the Menin Gate memorial in Ypres.

Departing by coach early on Thursday morning from the Edgware cadet Unit, teenagers from Tottenham and Copthall Units joined those from 211 Edgware (Princess of Wales’s Regt) Detachment. The tour included visits to the Somme battlefields, Talbot House Poperinge, wreath laying at the Menin Gate Ypres, and visits to other memorials before returning on Saturday evening.

Sixteen year old Cadet Corporal Thomas Devlin said, “I think it’s really important for people of a young age to actually learn about things like this in history, because if we don’t learn from it, its just going to repeat itself over and over again. I think it’s extremely important for us to all know something about what happened.” Cadet Corporal Thomas Devlin (16) led the wreath laying party at the Menin Gate along with Cadet Sgt Tempany Starkey (17) of Edgware and Cadet Sergeant Rihanna Mahnane (16) of 217 Copthall School Detachment.

Edgware’s Detachment Commander Sgt Richard Bailey said, “The Battle field tour was a huge success, Cadets and staff alike found it to be a real eye opener in terms of the sheer scale of the war and we now have a deeper understanding of the sacrifices, not only the soldiers made but, the hardship of the families and loved ones of those thousands of brave souls who to this day have still not been laid to rest. The highlight of the tour has to be our company having the privilege of taking up the position of guard of honour and laying a wreath of remembrance during a parade at the Menin Gate memorial for those who lost their lives during the Great War."

Army Cadets including those from Tottenham, Edgware and Copthall will be supporting the Royal British Legion Poppy appeal and also the many Acts of Remembrance taking place around the capital over the coming weeks.