Flora promoted for her hard work

June 6, 2022

A Cadet Force Adult Volunteer from the Black Isle has been recognised for her hard work in helping the young people of the Highlands.

Sergeant Instructor Flora Thomson (60), who volunteers with 1st Battalion The Highlanders’ Fortrose Detachment, was promoted to Staff Sergeant Instructor during a recent Company Training Weekend in Dingwall.

SSI Thomson, who is the Detachment Commander for Fortrose Detachment, has been volunteering with the Army Cadets since September 2004. Flora is a well-known face within the Battalion and is a figure the cadets feel they can talk to about anything. She is always striving to ensure her cadets get the most from their cadet experience. For example, during the First World War Centenary she led groups 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 for them to pay their respects.

On top of taking part in the military training side of the cadets, Flora is also involved with 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 the Horse Guards Parade in London in front of Royalty. As well as giving cadets new experiences, adults are also encouraged to experience new things and Flora has taken advantage of that by learning about Piping & Drumming and has even completed the Drum Major’s Course.

Flora (left) completing her cycle challenge.
Flora (left) completing her cycle challenge.

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 took part in the Poppy Pledge by cycling round the Black Isle – raising £4,400 for the Poppy Appeal.

SSI Thomson received her new rank (main picture) from the Battalion’s Commandant Colonel Mike MacDonald, during the start of the joint Inverness and Moray Company Training Weekend held at the Battalion’s Cadet Training Centre in Dingwall.