A 51-year-old former Regular Army padre who led the successful development of the cadet unit at Salisbury’s Sarum Academy has been honoured with the award of HM Lord-Lieutenant of Wiltshire’s Certificate for Meritorious Service.

The presentation to Captain Jonathan Ball took place during ceremonies at Devizes Town Hall.141023WX-PR-Salisbury

Jonathan, a Lieutenant Colonel when he finished his professional Army career, joined Wiltshire Army Cadet Force in 2009. Introducing the Army Cadet Force to the Academy was part of an outreach initiative also involving 43 (Wessex) Brigade and the Diocese of Salisbury and, as the first Commanding Officer, he rapidly increased the number of cadets from nine to 30-plus.

“Integrating youngsters who in some cases were from underprivileged backgrounds was the main challenge,” he said. “One of the keys involved giving them responsibility at an early age and encouraging them to recognise that their contribution was important to the success of the whole team.

“I have been delighted with the way things have developed from scratch. The various authorities could not have been more helpful in supporting the development – to a point where, when the Academy moved into new buildings last September, accommodation was provided specifically to meet our requirements.”

Jonathan has now stepped down from the role. He and his wife Jane have moved to Hampshire following her appointment as a Vicar in the Petersfield area and he is now Chief Executive of the Royal Marines Charitable Trust Fund.

The Lord-Lieutenant of Wiltshire’s Certificate for Meritorious Service was also awarded to:

  • Captain David Oliver, aged 53, Permanent Staff Administration Officer, B (Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry) Squadron, The Royal Wessex Yeomanry.

Reserve Forces