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Former Surbiton cadets gather for 70th anniversary reunion
Former cadets reunited at the 70th anniversary reunion of an air cadet squadron.
The 1034 (Surbiton) Squadron Air Cadets was founded in 1941 for young men wanting to help the war effort and prepare for RAF entry in specific trades.
There are about 50 cadets in the squadron now, aged 13-20, taking part in sports and social activities, Duke of Edinburgh and lessons about the armed forces.
On Sunday, May 22, faces old and new gathered at the Tolworth base to share stories of their time with the squadron.
Ron Blackmore, who left more than 50 years ago, said: “I wasn’t a very good cadet but I did enjoy the band. It’s great to come and have a look through all the old photos.”
More than 70 people watched drill sessions and a series of from flying to shooting showed the training available to air cadets today.
Flight Lieutenant June Machin, 35, started as a cadet in Surbiton, and is now the squadron’s first female commanding officer in its 70-year history.
She said: “It was a great day, the weather was on our side and it was a privilege to catch up with so many ex-cadets.”
Successful cadets have gone into teaching, business, healthcare and include Flight Lieutenant Mike Hibbs, captain on a Hercules in the Royal Air Force.
The squadron base is home to the Harrier, which arrived back in the borough in 2005 - for the first time since it was built in Ham Road in the 1970s.