Flora commended for long service

February 22, 2023
Cadet Force Adult Volunteer presented wit award.

A Cadet Force Adult Volunteer from Fortrose has been recognised for her commitment to the young people of the Highlands, which has spanned almost two decades.

Staff Sergeant Instructor Flora Thomson (60), from 1st Battalion The Highlanders’ Inverness Company, was recently presented with the 1st Clasp to the Cadet Forces Medal, which marks 18 years of service to the cadets, at a Training Weekend in Dingwall.

SSI Thomson, who is the Detachment Commander for Fortrose, has been volunteering with the Army Cadets since September 2004. Flora is well-known face within the Battalion and strives to ensure that her cadets get the most of their cadet experience. During the First World War Centenary she led groups of cadets from the Battalion on Battlefield Tours of Belgium and France and encouraged the cadets to research beforehand to see if their families took part in the war and if any relatives were buried at any of the cemeteries they visited.

On top of taking part in the military training side of the cadets, Flora is also heavily involved with the musical aspect of the organisation by being involved within the Battalion’s Pipes & Drums where she helps out at Pipe Band activities. SSI Thomson is always on hand to support the band, ensuring that there is always adult supervision allowing cadets to attend events up and down the country, from the Rorke’s Drift Concert in Wales to Royal events at Horse Guards Parade in London. As well as giving cadets new experiences, adults are encouraged to experience new things also and Flora has taken advantage of that by learning about Piping & Drumming. She has even completed the Army Cadet Drum Major’s Course.

Locally she is very involved in the community and during Remembrance she collects alongside the Fortrose cadets for the Scottish Poppy Appeal, where she has been a collector for 30 years. To help mark the appeal’s 100th anniversary in 2021, Flora cycled round the Black Isle – raising £4,400.

SSI Thomson received her clasp from the Battalion’s outgoing Commandant Colonel Mike MacDonald (pictured) during the start of the joint Ross and Caithness Company Training Weekend – which Flora was assisting at – held at the Battalion’s Cadet Training Centre in Dingwall.

To find out more about the Army Cadet Force, click HERE.