Cadets star in Belgian VE Day celebrations

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Musically talented cadets from Lincolnshire and Derbyshire visited Belgium last week after their talents were spotted on You Tube.

The combined Band of Lincolnshire and Derbyshire Army Cadet Force (ACF) took up the invitation to play at the 2017 VE Day International Tattoo in Roeselare, Belgium over the weekend of May 5 to 7.

The band played in front of hundreds of people in the main square and surrounding streets of the city alongside Da Capo Lisee from The Netherlands, The Medina Marching Band based on the Isle of White and the host band, KH The Gildemusic.

The cadets had been invited after they were spotted on You Tube by the Tattoo organiser Dirk Brabant who founded the event in 1992.

After their well-received performance, cadets and adults attended the Last Post ceremony at Menin Gate, Ypres, where every evening buglers honour the memory of WW1 soldiers of the former British Empire and its allies, who died in the Ypres Salient.

Before their journey home, early on Sunday morning, the Last Post was performed by band members at Tyne Cot Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery- the site of the 3rd battle for Ypres, better known as Passchendaele.

For Cadet sergeant Charlotte Towers it was a particularly poignant time, as she is rapidly approaching her 18th birthday which signals the end of her cadet career.

She said: “Being here in Belgium with the band has been very special to me as it’s my final parade as a cadet.

“I have really enjoyed playing music with bands from all over Europe. It really shows that music is a universal language.”

Cadet sergeant James Loveday added: “The highlight of my trip was when we did the finale, as we performed with bands from Europe.

“As we marched through the streets of the town we knew we were representing our country’s Army Cadets and this made me very proud.”