Three teenagers from Powys have been honoured by being appointed as the Lord-Lieutenant’s Cadets for 2020 at an awards ceremony in Newtown.
Cadet Colour Sergeant Sally Murton-Davies from Llandinam, Cadet Sergeant Holly Vincentelli from Machynlleth and Cadet Flight Sergeant Benjamin Gilmore from Llansantffraid-ym-Mechain, were given a distinctive sash with the badge of their appointment, which will last for one year, in front of around 70 people at the Elephant and Castle Hotel, last week. The trio were selected for the prestigious Lord-Lieutenant’s Cadet role after being put forward for nomination by cadet group leaders and the Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association for Wales. The role includes attendance with Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Powys, Mrs Tia Jones, who acts as the Queen’s representative, at a number of official engagements, including Remembrance events, Royal visits and parades.
Mrs Tia Jones said, “The Cadet Forces are truly amazing organisations, where the mixture of military training, youth work, civilian qualifications and community work helps develop our young people ready to take their place in society. “Of course, the success of the Cadet Forces is not only down to the young people themselves. The Cadet Forces would not operate but for the superb dedication and commitment of the officers and adult volunteers who give up their free time to make the organisations work. They deserve our sincere thanks also.”
Sally, 16, of the Gwent and Powys Army Cadet Force (ACF), who is studying at Newtown High School and aspires to become an Army combat medic said, “I’m really looking forward to the opportunities that this role will offer me over the next year. I’m one of the youngest chosen which makes it even more special to be doing something so different.” Her sporting achievements including achieving Campion Cadet in both rugby and football at National Level led to Sally being one of only twenty cadets selected from the whole of the UK and Northern Ireland to visit Kenya last October to help build a school and set up a football academy. “I spent two weeks in Kenya and it was an amazing experience – I play a lot of sport and being a member of various teams has opened up lots of opportunities for me,” added Sally, who has set herself the goal of becoming the Cadet Regimental Sergeant Major.
Since joining the Gwent and Powys Army Cadet Force (ACF) three years ago, Holly, 17, who is studying at Coleg Ceredigion, has grown in confidence and become a valued senior cadet. She recently attended the Royal College of Nursing Cadet Scheme Pilot and has also attended Senior Cadets Instructors Cadre. She has completed both bronze and silver Duke of Edinburgh awards and is working towards her gold. “This is such a huge honour to be a role model for other cadets,” said Holly. Growing up with a brother who suffers from a development disorder, she said Cadets gave her “a chance to breath – a chance to be a teenager, for the focus to be on me.” Her bravery and selfless courage was highlighted when she was nominated for a Young Hero Award and British Citizen Award after she gave first aid and stayed with a young boy at the scene of a high speed accident in 2018 while his father was airlifted to hospital. With little regard for her own wellbeing, she made her way to the scene to comfort and help the young boy.
Benjamin, 18, of No 2 Welsh Wing RAF Air Cadets, who aims to join the RAF as a pilot said, “This is such an honour and was a complete surprise – it was just a normal cadet night at squadron when I was told. I’m really looking forward to attending all the events coming up. It will help my promotion prospects and also be a huge help in the RAF selection process. Since joining No 2364 (Welshpool) in 2016, Benjamin has been an active member of the squadron and says it has helped him grow in confidence and develop leadership skills. He has completed the Master Cadet Classification and is due to attend the Instructor Cadet Course. The Wrexham Military College student has attended the Air Cadet Pilot Scholarship where he was rated as excellent and has also attended the National Aerospace Camp.
The trio will follow in the footsteps of Cadet CSM Kyle Chaplin (Gwent and Powys ACF), Cadet CSM James Ryan (Gwent and Powys ACF), Cadet Warrant Officer Sam Dykes (No 1 Welsh Wing RAF Air Cadets) and Cadet Flight Sergeant Barnaby Jones-Evans (No 2 Welsh Wing RAF Air Cadets) who were awarded the Lord-Lieutenant’s Certificate and Badge for being the 2019 representatives. Kyle, from Seven Sisters, was also presented with the Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award by the Lord-Lieutenant.
The Lord-Lieutenant’s Certificate of Merit was also presented to recognise the outstanding service and devotion to duty of many members of the Armed Forces community. Major Paul Jones (Gwent and Powys ACF), Sergeant Major Instructor Simon Johns (Gwent and Powys ACF) and Flight Lieutenant Anne Morris (No 2 Welsh Wing RAF Air Cadets) all received Certificates of Merit. There was special recognition for Major Jones who was also presented with the Award of the 4th Clasp to the Cadet Medal.
There are over 4,400 Cadets in Wales who gain skills and qualifications through working with local communities, charities and taking part in a variety of practical activities. The Cadet syllabus is delivered by hundreds of volunteering Adult Instructors and Civilian Assistants, who give up their spare time on weeknights and weekends.
The event was organised by the Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association (RFCA) for Wales – an organisation that has supported the Armed Forces for over 100 years.
To learn more visit www.Wales-RFCA.org