In November 2016, RAF Air Cadets from 2200 (Oldham) Squadron undertook a sponsored remembrance to mark formally the 100th Anniversary of the end Battle of the Somme. The Cadets decided it would be a fitting tribute to those who died in the battle to raise extra funds for the Royal British Legion, who provide valuable support to the families of Service Personnel who have died or been injured in battle.
Friday 17th November 2016 marked 100 Years since the guns fell silent on the Somme, which has become known as one of the Bloodiest Battle in the history of the British Army, with around 1.3 Million Casualties including over 400,000 Dead.
To mark the Centenary itself, Cadets and Staff braved the snow and took to Greenacres Cemetery – which is home to over 100 Commonwealth War Graves from both World Wars, to lay a Poppy Cross on each individual headstone and pay a personal tribute to each Soldier, Sailor and Airman who rests there. This was preceded by a short remembrance ceremony at the Cenotaph in the Cemetery, where a wreath was laid on behalf of the Squadron.
Officer Commanding, Flying Officer Joe Lord said “The Cadets worked extremely hard to raise this extra money and it was a truly fitting tribute to the fallen to see the cadets paying their personal respects in such a poignant centenary – despite the cold weather!”
In addition to the funds raised by cadets for the annual Poppy Appeal, an extra £281 was raised through this sponsorship effort! A star of the fundraiser was Cadet Camden Griffiths, who single-handedly raised £93.
After the event, Flying Officer Lord presented a Cheque to the Chairman of Oldham Royal British Legion, Mr Trevor Warren. Mr Warren added “We are so pleased by the effort of Oldham’s Air Cadets, they have provided a great deal of support to the RBL over the years helping us to raise much needed funds to support our cause.”
Flying Officer Lord presenting the Cheque to Oldham RBL’s Chairman, Mr Warren: