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I and fellow members of the Royal British Legion were invited to a night with the Chatteris Detachment of the Army Cadet Force, I think it was one of the most enjoyable and amusing evenings I have had this year.

First we mingled with the young Cadets and had tea then a raffle was held and the money collected was donated to a charity that goes towards a Christmas meal for homeless veterans in London.

Everything was good natured and fun, this reminded me so much of my own time in the Forces, the friendliness and comradeship were all there.

Two young men gave us a run down of their time in the Cadets, they said all the right things about the fun and experiences they’ve had by simply being members of this great organisation. They will be fine members of the community one day, I’m sure of it. I am also sure that the same applies to those fine detachments in March and elsewhere in the county.

The Detachment Commander Sarah Hislop and Sergeant Leah Templeman controlled the young cadets with ease and power of command.

The evening ended with Christmas carols and what a joy that was. If ever someone could take 50 years off my life that was it, the Cadets were magnificent and I was back on the mess deck of a warship, in the NAAFI Club, in a foreign bar and taking part in a SODS opera on the flight deck of an aircraft carrier - all at the same time. Only a Serviceman experiences these things and these young men and women made it possible. The camaraderie is second to none at that Cadet Hall.

If your young son or daughter wants to go into the Cadet Force then encourage them to do so as you’ll be surprised what they’ll be capable of after a few months.

Thanks a million cadets it was a great night and the Legion salutes you all.

Dick Mandley


Chatteris Royal British Legion