Swindon’s thriving Sea Cadet unit, Training Ship Resolution, achieved a very rare honour when no fewer than three of their leaders received the Lord-Lieutenant for Wiltshire’s Certificate of Meritorious Service during ceremonies at Devizes Town Hall.
The trio are:
- Lieutenant Margaret Trojan, who took over as Commanding Officer two years ago after a decade in a similar role with Royal Wootton Bassett Sea Cadets.
- Petty Officer Elizabeth Linnett, who joined the Swindon unit in 1993 and has specialised in administration.
- Pauline van der Sanden, a remarkably successful fund-raiser for TS Resolution over the past four years.
Margaret, a former WREN, was persuaded to put off retirement from the Sea Cadets in 2011 and take over at Swindon when the unit was experiencing a few problems. Since then, numbers have increased to a point where there is now a waiting list for Junior Cadets and the staff has been significantly expanded.
She says that Involvement in the Sea Cadets has huge benefits for many youngsters. “They learn to share, which they are not necessarily used to doing amongst 30 others in a school environment.
“And they also develop self-discipline and leadership skills. I see a lot of youngsters who wouldn’t say boo to a goose when they start here. But very soon they change – it’s then a case of head up, shoulders back and an ability to look the world in the eye.”
Elizabeth became involved in the Sea Cadets when her children, James and Hannah, were members and she drove them to annual camps in Cornwall. He is now training to be an Army helicopter pilot. His sister, an early years officer in Scotland, achieved the first leg of what is now a special family double a few years ago when she was appointed one of the Wiltshire Lord Lieutenant’s Cadets.
Pauline has raised nearly £100,000 for the Unit, providing a new minibus, sailing dinghy, rowing boat, powerboat (for use as safety boat), expedition equipment, numerous kayaks and associated canoeing equipment. The funds have also been used for galley refurbishment, new flooring for the Cadet centre and a portable building for a junior Cadet classroom
The Lord-Lieutenant for Wiltshire, Mrs Sarah Troughton, presented the dedicated trio with their certificates at a special ceremony in Devizes.
Lieutenant Commander Alison Fowler, District Officer for Dorset and Wiltshire SCC also attended the ceremony and said she was extremely proud of three volunteers.
The Certificate of Meritorious Service was also awarded to:
- Beverley Cubbon, aged 44, of Abbey Meads, a Sergeant Major Instructor with Royal Wootton Bassett Detachment, Wiltshire Army Cadet Force. Her achievements include leading a £24,000 county fundraising effort supporting Cadets and adults trekking to Everest base camp as well as the Help for Heroes Charity. More recently, she helped set up a new North Swindon ACF detachment at IsambardCommunitySchool.
- Flight Lieutenant Michael Hall, of Royal Wootton Bassett, who served 23 years as an RAF regular and for the past 20 years has been associated with Wiltshire and Dorset Wing, Air Training Corps.
- Captain Nigel Pountney, 58, who has been prominently involved in the successful expansion of 280 Movement Control Squadron, the Swindon-based Royal Logistic Corps formed in 2009. He lives in Birmingham and works as a Network Rail Incident Controller.
- Staff Sergeant Stephen Senior, 51, a liaison officer, of Astley, Leicestershire, who also serves with 280 Squadron.
- Flight Lieutenant Christopher Berry, 56, of Basingstoke, a registered nurse, and Senior Aircraftsman Martin Warnes, 45, a policeman from Staines, Middlesex, both members of 4626 Aeronautical Evacuation Unit, formerly of RAF Lyneham but now based at RAF Brize Norton.