An air cadet from Ripon was selected to take part in the unveiling of a permanent memorial to fallen soldiers at a roundabout near the UK’s biggest military camp, Catterick Garrison.
Four monuments were commissioned to commemorate 100 years since the end of the First World War. This lasting tribute was organised by Garrison Commander Lieutenant Colonel Joe Jordan, with the help of Welcome to Yorkshire. Calvert Architectural Stone Supplies of Leyburn came up with the design for the roundabout – four stone statues facing outwards on each of the four approach roads.
Cassidy Weidemann (13) an air cadet from 886 (City of Ripon) Squadron ATC was chosen along with five others to take part in the unveiling.
The four statues consist of a locomotive on a section of railway adorned with poppies and flowers; Lord Baden Powell; a First World War Tommy and a pilot of the Royal Flying Corps (the forerunner of the RAF).
Cassidy, along with another air cadet from Catterick (Sergeant Shingleston) unveiled the statue of the pilot from the Royal Flying Corps.
Cassidy said: “It feels important to me that we make sure we remember what happened to the people that fought. It makes me sad but proud that they sacrificed their lives for us. Hopefully I can do something to show that I care, and remember and honour what they did for us.
“I feel incredibly proud and happy that Lieutenant Colonel Joe Jordan chose me to help unveil the Royal Flying Corps statue.”
The centrepiece of the display, the locomotive, was unveiled by World War 2 Dunkirk veteran, David Evans, which also happened to be the day he celebrated his 100th birthday.
Mr Evans from Leyburn, a former cavalryman with the 13th/18th Royal Hussars, said: “I am so honoured and humbled to be unveiling this centrepiece. It is a powerful piece of work that will remind generation after generation of the sacrifices that have been made over the years. The military has meant everything to me since I joined up as a 17-year-old, so this comes as a wonderful birthday present.”
Lieutenant Colonel Joe Jordan said: “The Garrison did not have a specific war memorial to mark the Armistice in the First World War and it is important to mark the historic 100th anniversary with a unique centrepiece that can be seen by all who live in the Garrison and visitors passing through.
“It is a masterpiece that will live on through generation after generation. It is a powerful piece of stonework that will forever stand in memoriam of the fallen throughout both World Wars and conflicts since. It will not only honour the dead but stand as a mark of our gratitude to all the Armed Forces personnel, both past and present.”
If you’re a fan of aviation, action and adventure, love sports and getting to know people consider joining the Air Training Corps. Every year nearly 56,000 air cadets and volunteer staff take part in exciting events all over the country. To learn more about the Air Training Corps click here. Click here to find your local unit or call 01347 847425