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338 West Ham Squadron Air Cadets

The RAF's 100th anniversary in 2018 has provided a good inspiration for the Bowyers' Company to add a charitable affiliation with an RAF Air Cadet unit, to complement our support of the Brentwood Sea Cadets. With few of the 28 Air Cadet units in the London area currently having Livery support, after various consultations we chose 338 West Ham Squadron, whose crest is a bow and arrow, borrowed some time ago from the Norwegian Air Force's F-16 equipped 338 Fighter Squadron.

After a low period, 338 Squadron is now rebuilding in the hands of their livewire new Commanding Officer, Flight Lieutenant Billy Moore, who plans a rapid growth from 15 to 30 cadets, with band music and archery among the weekly activities. The Bowyers' Company is providing an initial £1,000 for archery equipment repair, archery instruction, musical instrument repair and music instruction, and we are looking forward with enthusiasm to a long-term affiliation to help 338 on its way.

On 14 April the Master and Nigel Heilpern joined 338 and the other 27 London area units at their annual 'Inness Sword' team event at Crowborough camp in Sussex: the competition disciplines included assault course, first aid, archery, navigation, drill, small bore shooting and stretcher-bearing. At the end of the day Flt Lt Billy introduced Nigel a nd the Master to the 338 Squadron cadets, and we celebrated our new charitable relationship with a formal exchange of plaques.

On 10 May the Master and Nigel followed this up with a visit to one of 338's bi-weekly parade and training evenings at the TA Centre in West Ham Park to present our cheque; 338's activities that evening were First Aid-related, with all cadets practising CPR and bandaging.

On a historical note, Bowyers' Company Past Master Geoffrey Glazier (1940-44), grandfather of current Liveryman Ben Glazier, was a WW1 Royal Flying Corps pilot who became a founder member of the Royal Air Force when it was established in 1918.

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