One of many, Second to None!

On Thursday 08 December 2008 Wanstead and Woodford’s 241 Squadron, Air Training Corps (ATC), based in Finchingfield Avenue, was presented with the coveted Lees Trophy, awarded to the best ATC Squadron in the United Kingdom. To qualify for this outstanding award the Squadron had to demonstrate that it offers its Cadets a breadth and depth of activities, provides help in the community and as a unit continually strives for excellence.

At a special presentation for Cadets, parents and local dignitaries including The Worshipful the Mayor of Redbrige, Councillor Mrs Loraine Sladden, the Cadets presented their list of impressive achievements for 2008. The Lees Trophy was formally awarded at the end of the evening by the Chief of Air Staff, the head of the RAF, Air Chief Marshal Sir Glenn Torpy KCB CBE DSO BSc(Eng) FRAeS RAF.

241 Squadron has over one hundred and fifty Cadets (aged 13-18) in its ranks and is one of the largest providers of Duke of Edinburgh Awards in the Corps. Sir Glenn was extremely impressed with the Squadrons outstanding achievements. He said “You have formed an absolutely fantastic squadron. I have never heard such an impressive resume of successes. I wish you all the best in your future careers and I am sure that your experience here will hold you in tremendous stead for the future. It just remains for me to say to enjoy yourselves and exploit the opportunities you are given”.

In addition to the main presentation, other awards and certificates attained by the Cadets during the year were also presented including:

· Best Cadet of the Year 2008 Cadet Jessica Murphy

· Best Recruit of the Year 2008 Cadet Harry Gahagen

· Best Flight No 2 Flight Awarded to Flight Sergeant Rhys Reeves-Roberts

· BTEC in Aviation Studies (worth 2 GCSEs) Flight Sergeant William Browne

· BTEC in Public Sector Studies (worth 4 GCSEs) with Distinction Flight Sergeant Ross Davidson

· Air Cadet Leadership Course Pass with Merit Flight Sergeant James Simpole

· Cadet Warrant Officer Certificate Cadet Warrant Officer Caroline Dent

· Jack Petchey Award for Best Cadet Cadet Finlay Bliss

In recent years the Cadets from the Squadron have visited the French Alps (mountaineering), Israel, Canada, the USA,Norway, Sri Lanka and South Africa.

The Air Training Corps provides a challenging and educational hobby which offers fantastic opportunities and enables teenagers to make a positive contribution to society. ATC Cadets can also now gain BTEC qualifications to the equivalent of 5 GCSE’s through their service in the Corps. In addition, the Cadets also help to raise significant sums of money for charities through sponsorship and bag-packing events.

For further information on joining 241 (Wanstead and Woodford) Squadron ATC, telephone (020) 8505 4744 or click on

Top Photo – Chief of Air Staff, the head of the RAF, Air Chief Marshal Sir Glenn Torpy KCB CBE DSO BSc(Eng) FRAeS RA with the Cadet NCO Team of 241 Squadron ATC with the coverted Trophy in a chuffed mood!