A group of four Cadets from the Gibraltar Cadet Force, accompanied by an adult instructor, were treated to a once in a lifetime events-filled weekend in London over the Queen’s Birthday bank Holiday weekend.
The four Cadets were chosen by the adult volunteer instructors as a reward for their performance, attendance record, and behaviour over the past year, and as an incentive for those who were unsuccessful to work harder in order to be nominated for future trips.
The group departed Gibraltar last Thursday and that evening attended the Beating Retreat by the massed bands of the Household Division on Horse Guards Parade, in the presence of His Royal Highness Prince Andrew, The Duke of York. Also taking part was an Army Cadet Force Band who performed alone and alongside their adult counterparts and were a delight to watch. A group of 30 cadets from Cadet Force Music will be in Gibraltar next month and will be playing at various venues during their week-long stay.
On Friday, the group were hosted by the Welsh Guards at Wellington Barracks where they were fortunate to see the behind-the-scenes inspection of the Queen’s Guard furnished by the Irish Guards and the band, prior to them taking up their duties at Buckingham Palace. Later the Cadets were allowed to try on the world famous Bear Skins and scarlet tunics.
Later that day the group was treated to a tour of the Palace of Westminster, but not before bumping into Her Majesty the Queen as she drove past to attend one of her engagements, an unplanned bonus.
As parliament was not sitting, the group were given a detailed tour which included visiting the Commons and Lord’s chambers as well as the Robing Room. It was an interesting insight into the workings of the Mother of Parliaments.
But the highlight of the visit was on Saturday as the four cadets in their suits and wearing the Regiment’s Regimental tie were treated to a front-line view of the Queen’s Birthday Parade on Horse Guards Parade. A display of spotless drill, immaculate turn out as only the Guards can perform.
The group met up with one of our other adult volunteer instructors, Mrs Christine Haveland, who was also attending the parade as her brother, Cpl James Ballentine from the Household Division Mounted band was taking part in the parade. After the parade, the group made their way down the Mall for the traditional balcony appearance by the Royal family at Buckingham Palace and RAF fly past.
Sunday saw a trip to the Imperial War Museum before heading off to Gatwick for the flight back home, after an unforgettable trip.
The Gibraltar Cadet Force would like to thank the following for having made the trip possible:
Mr Dominque Searle and staff at the Gibraltar Government London Office
Mr Mike Gaskill from the Deputy Speakers Office, for giving an interesting and detailed tour of Westminster.
WO2 R Burton, Bandmaster The Royal Gibraltar Regiment
WO2 K Bailey, Band Sergeant Major, Band of the Welsh Guards
L/Sgt S Laing from Welsh Guards Regimental Headquarters for hosting us at Wellington Bks
Cpl J Ballentine, from the House Hold Division Mounted Band
The Gibraltar Cadets were:
Cadet/Sgt Mike Jeffries (Governor’s Cadet)
Cadet L/Cpl Taylor Porro
Cadet L/Cpl Kayron Caruana
Cadet Travis Plata
They were accompanied by Dominic Collado (Cadets OC)