Rasen and Caistor cadets follow in footsteps of the fallen to honour men

Army Cadets from Caistor and Market Rasen laid wreaths at the Thiepval Memorial to honour local men lost in the First World War EMN-180304-115719001
Army Cadets from Caistor and Market Rasen laid wreaths at the Thiepval Memorial to honour local men lost in the First World War EMN-180304-115719001

Army Cadets from Market Rasen and Caistor have visited France and Belgium to honour local men who fell during World War One.

Both detachments researched the lives of men remembered on local war memorials before the trip, and laid wreaths and crosses at each site.

Cadet Lance Corporal Lara Cordwell laid a wreath at Thiepval Memorial for the many men from Market Rasen remembered there.

They include Private Cyril Marsh of the 8th Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment who was killed on July 1, 1916, along with several of his Lincolnshire pals.

Caistor Detachment laid a wreath at Thiepval on behalf of Caistor Town Council and the detachment to remember Private Herbert Parker of the 10th Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment, who was killed in action on August 26, 1917.

Caistor detachment commander, Staff Sgt Marie Fisher said: “Thiepval Memorial bears the names of 72,000 officers and men lost in the Battle of the Somme before March 1918.

“It is hard to imagine the scale of loss until you see the endless lists of names on the panels and sea of immaculate memorial stones.”

The group also visited Tyne Cot Memorial and the Canadian memorial at Vimy Ridge, where they explored the preserved tunnel system gaining a sense of how the soldiers may have felt winding their way up the ridge with the battle raging above.

Staff Sgt Fisher added: “Both detachments were also honoured to represent their towns at the Last Post ceremony performed every evening at The Menin Gate.

“This ceremony brings the town of Ypres to a standstill and there was not a dry eye among our group; you cannot help but be touched by the emotion of the ceremony.”

Here, Caistor cadets laid crosses to remember Private William Staniland of the Kings Dragoon Guards Indian Expeditionary Force, who was killed in action on June 2, 1915, aged 45, and Captain William Stuart Hunter of the 8th Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment, who was killed in action on July 13, 1917

Both these men are also remembered on the Caistor Memorial.

Staff Sgt Fisher said: “It was an extremely enlightening and emotional trip; some of the cadets on the trip were of a similar age to the young men who gave their lives.

“Both detachments would like to thank all those who supported the trip - helping with research, including Caroline Foster from Rase Heritage, and funding - and the adult instructors who accompanied them and shared the experience.”