A Chippenham father and son enjoyed a very special double celebration when both were honoured during the presentation of awards by HM Lord-Lieutenant of Wiltshire at Devizes Town Hall.
Former Regular Army soldier Mark Perrett, aged 53, received the Certificate for Meritorious Service for his work as Detachment Commander of Wiltshire Army Cadet Force’s Corsham detachment.
And 16-year-old Luke Perrett, a student at Chippenham College and Staff Sergeant in the Corsham detachment, was appointed one of the Lord-Lieutenant’s Cadets for the next year, a role which includes attendance at a number of official engagements.
“It’s brilliant,” said Mark, who works for the MoD. “Actually, Luke was nominated well before I knew of my award, which was a real bonus.”
It was Luke who originally got his Dad involved in the Cadets about 18 months ago. “Luke joined at Chippenham entirely off his own back,” Mark explained. “After about a month, he told me they were struggling for adult volunteers – and it went from there.”
Since Mark took charge at Corsham, he has seen cadet numbers rise from a handful to approximately 30. “A move from poor temporary accommodation to the former sergeants’ mess within the MoD site has made all the difference,” he added.
Recent Corsham recruits include 14-year-old Ella Perrett, Mark’s daughter, a pupil at Sheldon School.
Also appointed as Lord-Lieutenant’s Cadets were:
- Philippa Balshaw, aged 16, Cadet Flight Sergeant, 1304 (Chippenham) Squadron, Air Training Corps.
- Karl Martin, aged 17, Cadet Colour Sergeant, Trowbridge ACF.