Swindon represented at memorial service for The Duke of Edinburgh

By Barrie Hudson - 30 March 2022

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  • Staff Cadet Sergeant Major Thomas Hearn (left) with the Lord-Lieutenant of Wiltshire, Sarah Troughton, and the ACF Cadets' Sergeant Major for the day at the thanksgiving service

    Staff Cadet Sergeant Major Thomas Hearn (left) with the Lord-Lieutenant of Wiltshire, Sarah Troughton, and the ACF Cadets' Sergeant Major for the day at the thanksgiving service

The memorial service for the Duke of Edinburgh at Westminster Abbey included representation for Swindon and Wiltshire.

The televised event was attended by the Lord-Lieutenant of Wiltshire, Mrs Sarah Troughton, and Staff Cadet Sergeant Major Thomas Hearn, from Swindon. 

In addition to representing Swindon, Mr Hearn was the only Army Cadet representative from the whole of the South West and one of nine from the entire country.

Since joining the Wiltshire Army Cadet Force in 2014, he has progressed through the ranks, and is currently A Company Staff Cadet Sergeant Major. He was also one of the first Cadets to take part in the Staff Cadet initiative and is now starting the process to become a Cadet Force Adult Volunteer.

The 19-year-old successfully passed Master Cadet, Advanced Fieldcraft and Three Star Communication and Information Systems. He has attended many events including six annual camps, a World War One Battlefield Tour and three Arnhem Marches.

He was also part of a three-man team which organised a charity bike ride that saw Cadets from A Company complete the event which raised £1,500 for Walking with the Wounded.

In 2019 he received the Army Cadet Force Association Certificate for Meritorious First Aid after assisting at the scene of a road traffic accident.

He said: “After seven-and-a-half years as a Cadet in Wiltshire ACF, parading out of Church Place Detachment Swindon, this has to be my best and most honourable memory. The perfect end to my Cadet career.

“Not only representing Swindon and Wiltshire but the whole of the South West Army Cadet Force.

“It was a breath-taking honour to be part of the delegation which lined the entrance to Westminster Abbey, where senior members of the Royal Family and Parliament entered, as well as members of Royal Families across Europe.

“It was an experience I will never forget and am very grateful for.”

Mrs Troughton added: “I was delighted to meet Staff Cadet Sergeant Major Thomas Hearn of Wiltshire Army Cadet Force, A Company, Swindon as he proudly took part in the parade at the Thanksgiving Service for HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh at Westminster Abbey.

“He was the only Cadet from the South West chosen to represent the Army for this historic occasion and joined other Cadets from the Armed Forces around the country to perform this important role. I hope he had a wonderful time and will remember the day for many years to come.”

The thanksgiving event, held at Westminster Abbey, was broadcast live on BBC One and was attended by members of the Royal Family including the Queen and the Duke of Cambridge as well as Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

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