Young members of the Air Training Corps marked the 75th anniversary of the organsiation with two church services.
The celebrations started with a service of thanksgiving held at the RAF church of St Clement Danes in central London attended by the Duchess of Cambridge, the newly appointed Honorary Air Commandant of the Air Cadets, a role previously held by The Duke of Edinburgh.
The Duchess now represents 42,000 air cadets aged from 12 to 19, and 15,000 adult volunteers at more than 1,200 units across the UK and abroad.
Following that, 352 (Burnley) Squadron, marked its 75th anniversary of service to the borough by dedicating a new squadron banner at a special service held at St Peter’s Church.
The service was led by the Rev. Patrick Senior, Rector of St Peter’s, and the Squadron Padre, the Rev. Charlie Hill.
The service was attended by county and civic dignitaries including the Lord-Lieutenant, the High Sheriff, the Chairman of Lancashire County Council, and the Mayor of Burnley and MP.
Mrs Susan Hughes MBE, 352 (Burnley) Squadron president, said: “I am delighted to be involved with this efficient and dedicated squadron who continue to serve the town in so many ways.”
The Rt Rev. Philip North, Bishop of Burnley, spoke to the cadets of the importance of service, as an expression of love and of true giving of one’s self.
The Mayor of Burnley, Coun. Elizabeth Monk, spoke of civic pride and of partnership; a partnership which is illustrated by the inclusion of the borough’s emblem on the squadron’s new banner.
Wing Commander Steve Molloy RAFVR(T), Officer Commanding Cumbria and Lancashire Wing, spoke of how Burnley Squadron had led the way in many of the positive changes the ATC has undergone since its inception in 1941. Later the Lord Lieutenant inspected the cadets accompanied by Flight Lieutenant Alan Stewart RAFVR(T), Officer Commanding 352 Squadron, and received the first salute of the new banner as the Cadets paraded before the dignitaries.