In a fitting tribute to the RAF’s centenary year, Gordon’s School Sword of Honour and Gardiner Memorial Award was made to RAF Cadet Daniel Farrow today (Saturday) at the annual Patron’s Parade.
The sword and award recognise Daniel, aged 18 - who earned a Flying Scholarship with the RAF - as being the most successful Gordon’s Combined Cadet Force (CCF) Senior Cadet this year.
The presentations were made during the annual parade at the co-educational boarding school in West End, Woking when student members of the Pipes and Drums Band join their peers to march in honour of the School’s Patron HM The Queen. This year the Parade also commemorated the RAF’s 100th anniversary.
Since the school was founded in 1885 marching has been an integral part of its history and the school has never been without a Pipes and Drums Band. The Patron has always been the reigning Monarch.
This year as the Parade was also commemorating the RAF’s 100 years, it was inspected by Group Captain Peter Cracroft, who also presented Daniel with his awards. Many of the military families who came to watch their children take part, also dressed in their RAF uniform.
Every student at Gordon’s joins the CCF for at least a year and Daniel, who has served as the Surrey Heath Borough Council’s ‘Mayor’s Cadet’ and is currently taking his A-Levels, has spent some four years as an RAF Cadet. His long-held ambition is to be a pilot. In receiving the Gardiner Memorial Award he will be invited to participate in a tandem parachute jump with the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers.
Daniel’s RAF Scholarship gave him 12 hours of flying instruction in Dundee over two weeks. Reflecting on the experience, Daniel said: “…it was fantastic to get to grips with the aircraft, the speed of learning was fast and within the first three trips I was taking off and landing by myself. As someone who has always been interested in aviation it was extremely rewarding.
“Every trip built on from the knowledge you had gained in the last so it was a very methodical way of learning and by the final trip I was flying the aircraft and communicating with the air traffic controllers without the instructor’s help!”
The Patron’s Parade was followed by the annual Fun Day, where students enjoyed an afternoon of activities including a rodeo bull; water dunk tank challenge; sumo wrestling and laser tag.