The Lord-Lieutenant of Bristol, Mary Prior MBE JP has chosen the four Cadets who will accompany her in 2014 on royal visits and other official engagements.
They were hand-picked from each of the uniformed Cadet organisations – the Sea Cadet Corps (SCC), the Army Cadet Force (ACF) and the Air Training Corps (ATC) – and also from the Combined Cadet Forces run by schools, after showing exceptional dedication and skill at their respective units.
The quartet received their certificates and badges during a ceremony held at Merchant Hall, Clifton, where Lord-Lieutenant’s Certificates of Meritorious Service were also presented to long-serving, dedicated members of the Reserves and the Cadet forces.
As well as hosting royal visits, the Lord-Lieutenant acts as the Queen’s representative in making a variety of awards, from British Empire Medals to recognition of exceptional voluntary service and industrial and export performance.
She attends Remembrance parades and services as well as awarding the Elizabeth Cross to next of kin of armed forces personnel killed on active service. From next August her diary will be even fuller, with the start of Great War commemoration events.
Mrs Prior said: “There are 1,383 cadets in Bristol and these four cadets are lucky indeed. Well done! You exemplify the very best of what the cadet organisations represent.”
She also presented certificates to four-star Cadets, who have achieved the highest attainable standard of instructional training as Cadets.
The Cadets, chosen on their merits within the cadet force and also for their dedication and work within the local community, are:
- Leading Cadet Zara Thomas, 16, of Broomhill, Bristol, a member of Bristol Adventure Sea Cadet Corps. Zara enjoys instructing Sea Cadets and Junior Cadets and has represented the unit in many waterborne competitions at district and area level including drill, rowing, swimming and seamanship. She attends St Mary Redcliffe School and hopes to pursue a career as an engineer.
- Cadet Staff Sergeant Ashley Hayes, 16, of Henbury, Bristol, a member of City & County of Bristol Army Cadet Force. Ashley has completed his four-star instructor training, the highest level attainable as a cadet, and was in the top three on his Senior Cadet Instructors Course. As a successful footballer, he has represented England in the Youth World Cup and also plays for the Bristol Rovers.
- Cadet Sergeant Kayleigh Fisher, 17, of Keynsham, Bristol, a member of 2386 (Keynsham) Squadron, Bristol & Gloucestershire Wing Air Training Corps. Kayleigh was among the final nine Cadets nominated for the Duke of Westminster’s Award this year and has inspired the Cadets in her squadron to embrace voluntary service. She intends to go to university and to pursue a career in catering management.
- Cadet Warrant Officer Class Two Christopher Welsh, 17, of Easton-in-Gordano, a member of Clifton College Combined Cadet Force. Christopher was top student on his SNCO officer cadre and is responsible for running the Army section Recruit Platoon. An accomplished musician, he also represents the school at rugby and rowing. He is looking to study history at St Andrews University and hopes to pursue a career in the Royal Marines.