Category Archives: DoE


Recently seven cadets from 1220 (March) Squadron Air Cadets completed the expedition section of their Silver Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.

Their three-day expedition began near Castleton in the North York Moors, and took them through Westerdale and Farndale Moors.

Cadet Chris Howsam (15), said “The expedition was really worthwhile and I am pleased to have completed the expedition section.”

After camping in the valley, their second day took them past the disused mines in the area. They then took a route along the top of the moor where they camped in Rosedale.

The final day of their expedition took them across Wheeldale moor and finished in Goathland, the village where the ITV television series Heartbeat is set.


Pictured is the team at the end of the expedition. From left: Cadet Rebecca Stimson, Cadet Corporal Sophie Reeve, Cadet Corporal Liam Hill, Cadet Jason Sharman, Cadet Chris Howsam, Cadet Corporal Lauren Lynch-Cotter, Cadet Corporal Lauren Thompson


gold award at St James'sSeveral Air Cadets from 1220 (March) Squadron were recently invited to St James’s Palace in London, to be presented with their Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s award certificates.

To complete their award they have to take part in various activities.  The cadets took on volunteering duties for a period of 12 months which included representing the Air Training Corps at various community events.

The physical section held them to improve their overall fitness and to do this most of the cadets learned how to play table tennis.  They all had to learn a new skill and this varied from studying Aeronautics, playing an instrument in a band and leaning Marksmanship skills.

There is a residential element which involves staying away from home for a period of ate lease 4 nights and taking part in a group activity.  A couple of the cadets travelled to Cyprus for this and spent time learning about Royal Air Force operations overseas.

Finally, all of them completed a 4 day expedition in the Lake District.  Totally self-sufficient they used their navigation and teamwork skills to complete this challenging part of the award.

At the palace, HRH the Earl of Wessex took time to speak with the successful candidates and then certificates were presented by Mr Mike Bannister who was the chief pilot on Concorde.  Mr Bannister gave an inspiring talk about is time on Concorde which the cadets and their parents enjoyed.  

Flight Sergeant Katie Mowatt said of the day ‘It is an amazing achievement and going to the palace made all the hard work worth it. The day was very special and I was glad my dad was there to share it with me.’


Cadet FS Alex MacraeCadet Flight Sergeant Alexander MacRae, an Air Cadet with 1220 (March) Squadron Air Training Corps was recently presented with his Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s award certificate.  The presentation was made in a special ceremony at St James’s Palace.

To earn the award Alex completed five sections.  These included volunteering in the community, improving his physical fitness by playing Football and learning a new skill.

He also had to complete a Residential section for which he spent a week away from home on the training area at Wathgill, near Catterick.  The final section was a 4 day expedition coping with some extremely wet weather in the Lake District.

Before the presentation of certificates HRH the Duke of Edinburgh took time to chat with the award recipients and their guests. Alex was due to receive his award from Sir Chris Hoy, however, Sir Hoy’s wife went into premature labour the week before. The certificates were presented, in the end, by Major General John Crackett, Assistant Chief of the Defence Staff.

On receiving the award Alex commented that “I had a great day, the palace was amazing and the presentation made all the work towards my award worthwhile!”


Seven air cadets from 1220 (March) Squadron recently took part in expedition in Bedfordshire. For three of the cadets who took part, this counts towards the expedition section of their award; the other four took this opportunity to improve their skills in preparation for their assessed expedition next year.

1220 cadets at the end of their expedition

1220 cadets at the end of their expedition

The route started at Great Brickhill in Bedfordshire and took them towards Woburn. They walked through the Woburn Abbey deer park and camped at Milton Bryan. On the second day they walked along part of the Greensand Ridge walk to finish near Flitwick.

The cadets found the Milton Bryan campsite particularly interesting because a building on the site was used as a radio station, which was used to broadcast false information and misleading propaganda into Nazi Germany during World War Two.

All seven cadets carried everything they would need for the two days, including their tents, cookers, food and spare clothes. They cooked and ate their own food, which consisted of breakfast, and a sausage, pasta and sauce concoction for evening meal.

Cadet Ross Tunley said “I thoroughly enjoyed my expedition and have achieved something I didn’t think I’d be able to do. Even though it was hard at times I found that the effort paid off at the end.”


Seven cadets from 1220 (March) Squadron Air Training Corps recently completed a three-day expedition in the Yorkshire Moors, which forms the expedition section of their Silver Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.

1220 cadets after their expedition.

1220 cadets after their expedition.

Prior to taking part in the expedition the cadets had attended various training sessions, which included practical navigation lessons in Snowdonia and the Peak District. They had all completed a short overnight expedition in Cambridgeshire to finalise what equipment they wanted to carry and what food to have on the menu.

Having decided to complete their expedition in the Yorkshire Moors they spent several evenings planning their route. They included locations they particularly wanted to visit such as the interestingly named Blue Man i’ th’ Moss and a waterfall called Falling Foss.

The routes were submitted to the Yorkshire Moors Duke of Edinburgh’s award wild country panel for approval and to request an assessor attend the expedition and make sure the regulations are adhered to.

The team and their supervisors set off to the Yorkshire Moors on Wednesday evening to arrive at the campsite that was to be their base camp. The cadets then had some time to prepare their kit before getting a good night’s sleep ready for the morning.

The assessor arrived the next morning, just after breakfast, and spent time going through the twenty conditions they need to meet to complete the expedition section of the Duke of Edinburgh’s award. Most of these had already been completed in the planning stage so now they had to actually complete their route.

They spent three days journeying through the Yorkshire Moors, starting at Rosedale and working their way towards the coast to finish at Robin Hoods Bay. They were self-sufficient throughout carrying full expedition rucksacks with tents, sleeping bags, food & drink plus other kit required.

Their navigation training paid off as they rarely went off course and when they did, they recovered from their errors quickly. They kept to the timings planned on their route cards, finishing on time each day.

Having reached the end their assessor debriefed them and discussed what they did well and what they enjoyed and didn’t enjoy. She complimented them on their competence and encouraged them all to continue on to complete their Gold Awards.

After saying goodbye the team then returned to the base camp where they enjoyed much looked forward to fish and chips. They spent the evening winding down before packing up and travelling home the next day.

A week before the expedition Cadet Francis Perks broke his arm. He completed the expedition with his limb in plaster, which added an extra challenge for him. His fellow team members helped him with tasks he found difficult, such as packing away his sleeping bag. He commented that “My arm was quite an annoyance to begin with however, with help from the team, I pulled through and managed to complete it with a smile on my face.”

Sergeant Kyle McLean said he enjoyed the challenging terrain and landscape, and that completing the Silver National Navigation Award earlier in the year really helped him prepare for the trickier elements of the route finding.