South West Region

Normandy Trip 2019

Over the past week, cadets and staff from across Bristol and Gloucestershire Wing of the Air Training Corps have been in Normandy, France to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of D-Day and Operation Overlord.

27 cadets deployed and undertook a variety of activities to provide a broad insight into how the Battle of Normandy unfolded and to attempt to visualise the sheer scale of loss and destruction that occurred.

The cadets have visited numerous museums, gone to locations of practical interest including former battery sites and airfields, and paid their respects at 4 war cemeteries – Ryes War Cemetery, Bayeux Commonwealth Cemetery, the American Cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer, and the German Cemetery at La Cambe. The trip culminated with the participation in the British Parade and Ceremony held in Arromanches-les-Bains. The parading cadets marched through a crowded Arromanches high street and provided a “blue footprint” alongside the Central Band of the Royal Air Force. The cadets attended the parade alongside many veterans who fought during World War Two, soldiers serving today in the British Army, and thousands of members of the public from around the World.

Cadet Corporal Collins-Beckett of 2509 (Chipping Sodbury) Squadron said, “It was such a moving trip being able to visit the cemeteries and being able to experience a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

Cadet Page from 2152 (North Bristol) Squadron said, “It was interesting because you got to understand the history about such an important event.”

Cadet McGovern from 2152 (North Bristol) Squadron said, “It was an enjoyable trip because we got to see all the military vehicles and memorabilia and got to understand how the troops felt on D Day.”

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