It was way back in 1920 – on Thursday, February 5, that the first 52 Flight Cadets walked through the gates of the Royal Air Force Cadet College at Cranwell.
Today this important date in the college’s history was celebrated with a Founders’ Day parade and church service.
Visitors and service personnel watched from the steps of the impressive college hall as the Central Band of the RAF performed on the parade square.
In keeping with tradition, a Guard of Honour from the college attended the raising of the RAF Ensign.
College commandant Air Commodore Chris Luck took the salute as the ensign was raised accompanied by Cranwellian Association vice-president, Lord Beaverbrook.
The celebration moved to the college chapel of St Michael and All Angels.
The Queen’s Colour for the RAF college was marched into the chapel where the college chaplain conducted a service celebrating this pivotal event.
Wing Cdr Richard Willis said: “It is a great privilege to work in an environment so steeped in history.
“Cranwell was the first air academy in the world and it continues to have an important role in training not just RAF officers but also many officers from overseas air forces.
“Today we commemorate all those who graduated from Cranwell in the 96 years since the college’s foundation.”
For 96 years the college has been the home to training air-minded officer cadets for our nation and in its centenary year as a Station, RAF Cranwell continues to lead the way.
Flying Officer Thomas Nation said: “I have just completed initial officer training which was both mentally and physically challenging, but also rewarding and enjoyable.”
He added: “The college environment definitely instils the RAF ethos and it’s hard not to feel a sense of pride knowing you’re now part of an organisation with such a great heritage.”