A former Army Reservist from Stockwood has been honoured for his work training adult instructors with the City and County of Bristol Army Cadet Force.
Captain Chris Verrinder, aged 44, received the Certificate for Meritorious Service from the Lord Lieutenant of Bristol, Mary Prior MBE JP, during ceremonies at the Merchant Venturers’ Hall, Clifton.
Recruiting suitable individuals to train as instructors can be a challenge for cadet units – and the ACF in Bristol is always on the look-out for more help.
“Thankfully, we do pretty well here,” says Chris, who is Assistant County Training Officer. “We have attracted a number of former Regular or TA soldiers, whose experience is invaluable, and there are mums and dads who volunteer as well.
“But the role of adult instructor demands commitment. The training takes a while. And then there are lessons in the week, plus camps and weekend training events.”
Chris, a divisional manager with heating company Dimplex, was himself an Army cadet in Bristol before serving 17 years in the Territorial Army (now the Army Reserve). He finished as a Sergeant in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME).
After a short gap, he joined the ACF almost ten years ago and has seen many youngsters benefit from its comprehensive programme of activities.
“We help them grow up,” he adds. “There is great pride in seeing a little so-and-so who initially is into all sorts of hassle come through the system, do all that we ask of him, and eventually leave us as someone who has gained the respect of people for what he has achieved.”
Also awarded the Certificate for Meritorious Service were:
- Lieutenant Christopher Cameron, Senior Training Officer, Bristol University Royal Naval Unit.
- Peter Stanley, adult instructor with Clifton College Combined Cadet Force.
- Commander Clive Smith, Deputy Area Officer South West, Sea Cadet Corps.
- Lieutenant Natalie Wong, Officer Commanding, 2442 (Westbury-on-Trym) Squadron, Air Training Corps.
- Corporal Richard Brown, 105 Battalion, Keynsham-based Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME).