Flight Sergeant Stuart Gemmell RAF Air Cadets, Officer commanding 2235 (Deal) Sqn.

Where to start with 2235? As a Sqn, we returned when the government lifted restrictions in April, but we decided to parade only one evening a week due to only having five cadets return to us. We lost a few cadets due to timing out, but most of the others decided not to return at this time.

As you can imagine, our focus at that stage was to increase our cadet numbers, and we held several recruitment evenings before the end of the year, and now we have 20 cadets parading, with more wishing to join us this month.

Most of our parades were outdoors in the early stages of returning, with the sqn returning to parading twice a week in September. I did manage to get one cadet on a Camp to RAF Odiham, but the admirative burden was a nause, due to covid testing pre-camp, during and after.

Thankfully, the Sqn attended the Remembrance parade. It was on and off by HQ Air Cadets several times before Sunday 14 November, all due to C-19.

In December, I took all the Sqn (cadets, staff, partners, and committee) to Deal Welfare Club for a formal Christmas Mess Dinner Night before our Christmas stand down. Again, this was lucky to be sanctioned due to the rise in C-19 cases. This was our Sqn’s final act of 2021, and it was an excellent way to end the year. We return to parading next Tuesday, 11 January.

What is coming up in the diary? The Sqn kick off the year with leadership training. This will be initially conducted on the sqn and will be continually tested and developed throughout the year. There are four awards available in the Air Cadets – Blue, bronze, silver, and gold leadership awards, across all the age groups.

We hope to get some flying slots this year. All our flying has been cancelled recently due to C-19, so we should be next on the list when it restarts.

There is a plan to conduct a sector camp at St Martin’s Plain in Folkestone during the Easter weekend. Sector 5 comprises Deal, Folkestone, New Romney, Headcorn, and Dover Sqn’s. The camp will take cadets and staff from all these Sqns to conduct weapon handling training and shooting, first aid training, communications training, and an obstacle course exercise. That’s all for now. I will update you as we go through the year.

All the best  Stuart.

Captain Paul Atkins Officer Commanding – Deal Detachment A Coy Kent Army Cadet Force

So the Army Cadets I will give a bit of a rundown of what we have been doing as Deal Detachment and as one of the 8 detachments of A Coy KACF

Since lockdown was lifted from don’t do anything but stay in we have managed to recoup our numbers which the lockdown destroyed, we lost many of our senior cadets due to ageing out and some just decided not to come back. We currently stand as a detachment at 43 cadets though not all parade regularly and 5 adult staff, one is an Ex Cadet returning as an adult, Miss Renee Amos.

9th to 20th August 2021 Deal along with the other 7 Detachments that make up A Company held a non-residential Annual Camp using two locations as our base of operations Margate & Canterbury Detachments with each accommodating three detachments which are those Platoons detachments, the activities consisted of training, socially distanced with masks, and a couple of days on the training areas doing fieldcraft, an adventure training day at Lydd Camp watermanship area, and a two-day navigation walk and camp at local campsites in Canterbury and Minster and a range day also at Lydd Camp, Lydd Camp was where we were going to go if it was a fully residential camp.

Shortly after that, we had a range weekend again with the rest of A Company and TIBUA weekend, TIBUA is Training In A Built-Up Area,  house clearance and defence, this was our first residential activity, back at Lydd Camp.

November we had a residential Company Training Weekend at St Martin’s Plain Camp at Cheriton, that consisted of a competition between the detachments partaking in various stands fieldcraft, stalk, navigation, shooting, obstacle course and a PT session, followed by a Christmas dinner and a disco, which was all very much a boost to morale after the previous year.

At detachment level, we held an enrolment night for the new cadets with an open evening for the parents of those cadets to see what we do with various stands, with kit and equipment on display, this night also saw the presentation of two gifts to two of our cadets who had passed 3 Star, they were Miss Megan Pentleton and Miss Catherine Hawthorne both who had also achieved the rank of Sergeant before lockdown and ageing out, Miss Pentleton also received her certificate from her SCIC, Senior Cadet Instructors Cader which was conducted virtually due to lockdown. That evening also saw the promotion of Corporal Emily Sole to Sergeant.

Ryan aged out in May 2021 after achieving Master Cadet and becoming the A Company Cadet Company Sgt Major, but sadly not actually being able to do any weekends away due to COVID-19. He is currently going through the process to become an officer in the British Army at RMA Sandhurst by September.

 Gemma passed all her training to be an adult instructor in October and is now an adult instructor.

We then closed for Christmas break and reopen on 6th January, with a residential weekend at St Martin’s Plain Camp on 15th 16th January covering Skill at Arms, Shooting, First Aid and Basic Training and testing.

Best regards, Paul.





No activity due to Covid 19 



Fantastic News!

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Cadet Sgt Major Ryan Atkins, Deal Detachment A Coy Kent Army Cadet Force was recently awarded the Lord Lieutenant’s cadet award.
The Lord-Lieutenant’s Cadet is seen as the aide and representative of the cadet forces to the British Royal family and the Lord-lieutenant in an administrative county of England, Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland. Typically, one is chosen from each of the main cadet forces, the Army Cadet Force, Air Training Corps and Sea Cadets (United Kingdom). They are selected each year at the Spring Lord-lieutenant’s awards in each county.
They provide an essential link between the armed forces and the local community, assist with recruiting within the cadet forces and assist the county’s Reserve Forces and Cadets Association. The cadet from each arm of the cadet forces is selected and appointed based on their outreach and participation within their squadron, detachment or unit, and is seen as one of the highest achievements in the Cadet Forces.


I contacted Stuart our Youth Liaison Officer below is his reply!

I asked Stuart how he was progressing and if it was appropriate for me to let you all know, below is his reply and I know you will all join with me in offering our heartfelt congratulations on his First-Class degree in Accounting and Finance, an incredible amount of work both mentally and physically for him so a marvellous achievement indeed, Well Done Stuart!
Hi Edward,

Thanks for your reply. Well, now that I have had my university exam results confirmed, I have achieved a first-class degree in Accounting & Finance, I have applied to Canterbury University to become a teacher. It means another year of studying and placements, but it will be worth it.

As for my rehab, I had an out-patients appointment at Stanford Hall last week, and all seems to be progressing well. Due to COVID-19, the hospital has been re-rolled to help servicemen and women recover from Coronavirus, so other patients cannot be admitted at present. There is a plan to get me in once the virus has passed, but in the meantime, it’s a waiting game.

Otherwise, all is well. Home-schooling the kids and trying to get back to some sort of normality, as best we can. I look forward to catching up with people in person, rather than virtually, soon.

Stay safe, Stuart

A website for youth members and cadets click


A Coy shows respect for the 75th Anniversary of D Day 8th May 2020 

Flight Sergeant Stuart Gemmell Officer Commanding – 2235 (Deal) Sqn. our Downs Branch Youth Liaison Officer has had a “Prang” his message on Facebook is copied below, we all wish him Good Luck and back to full Ops soon!
I loathe posting like this, as I am not seeking sympathy but need to inform some people and I know this will be read.Body is off the road (VOR) – I snapped my femur on Wednesday (prosthetic side) after slipping in the wet. I was transferred to the QE Birmingham, by East-Lancs Ambulance service and operated on the following day. All the medical staff at both hospitals have been amazing, and yet again I owe them a massive debt of gratitude that I will never be able to repay 🙏🏻 I will be off my feet for six weeks+ while I let the plates, pins and screws (whatever is in there) heal and do their thing.I am completely fine but slightly embarrassed by the timing and slipping the way I did. I sometimes forget my leg doesn’t work in the same way as a real one.


Branch President John Elms, Chair Edward Barkway & wife Janet together with Vice Chair Malcolm Gibbons with committee member and wife Jennie were privileged to be invited to the Deal 2235 (Deal) Squadron Royal Air Force Cadets Presentation Evening 31st January. 
Flight Sergeant Stuart Gemmell Officer Commanding – 2235 (Deal) Sqn. extends a warm welcome.
  Air Marshal Christopher Nickols speaking at the Cadet Presentation evening in Deal Castle.
  Stuart welcomes Deputy Deal Town Mayor Ciir. David Cronk.
  Cadets FALL IN ……and OUT!
Air Marshal Christopher Nickols says“Well done “Flight” for a splendid evening and a first class Air Cadet Corps.                            


Photographs from 2235 Sqd Facebook website

2235 (Deal) Squadron – Royal Air Force Air Cadets 





2235 (Deal) Sqn RAF Air Cadets Formal Mess Dinner December

Flight Sargent Stuart Gemmell Officer Commanding along with uniformed staff, civilian instructors and most importantly smartly dressed Air Cadets enjoying their dinner at the RBL Club.                                                                     

We are very fortunate that Stuart (DJ & Medals) is also our Royal British Legion Branch Youth Liaison Officer so a very busy man indeed.



Deal Detachment Army Cadet Corp A Coy Presentation Evening 19th December.

Detachment Commander Lt Paul Atkins opened proceedings by extending a warm welcome to Town Mayor Cllr Eileen Rowbotham, Cadets parents, Officers from the Kent Area and Edward Barkway RBL Downs Chair.

The stage lighting did not lend itself to good photographs!                                  A great model of a WW1 Tank presented to Paul from the Officers & Cadets.

Edward congratulated the cadets on raising £304.14 for the Poppy Appeal and explained the Affiliation the RBL have with A Coy, he thanked Gemma and Ryan Atkins for carrying the RBL Standard on numerous occasions. 



Deal Detachment Kent Army Cadet Corps have a new recruit, non other than Mia Gemmell eldest daughter (12) of of our Youth Liaison Officer Stuart, both Dad and Mum Kelly were proud to see Mia complete a sponsored walk from Dover to Deal pier in aid of the Royal British Legion and  Walmer Lifeboat this weekend 14th/15th September…….

……as Dad Stuart said “Mia enjoyed every minute but has some very tired legs today” 

The smile says it all! Well Done Tankie we are all very proud of you!



Deal Detachment Kent Army Cadet Corps Camp.

Think you’ve got what it takes?….read on!

Email Paul at



Deal ATC 2235 Squadron Camp.

Branch Youth Liaison Officer Stuart Gemmell sent the following report and photographs from the August 2019 Summer Camp.

Please find photos of this year Air Cadets summer camp at RAF Leeming. 30 Air Cadets from across Kent (two from Deal), visited the station last week for seven day’s of Air Force life, learning what it takes to become an Airman or Woman. The Cadets visited the stations Air Traffic, fire section, police section, RAF Regiment and had the chance to taxi Hawk trainer aircraft onto the runway before a training flight. Cadet Spencer Hall, of Deal 2235 Sqn, won the most sought-after prize of all Camp Best Cadet for exceptional attitude and a great sense of humour throughout the week. 

Cadet Spencer Hall, Deal 2235 Sqn Camp Best Cadet, well done Spenc!


Do NOT pull the trigger!

                       …only if you promise to bring it back!


THE Deal “Team” Standing on runways is not a good idea!

(Is that a smile of fear, relief or delight Stuart!!)

Thank You Stuart for a great report and photo’s 



Members and families gathered in Dover Town Hall Friday 19th July to pay tribute to the hard work and training carried by the cadets of TS Lynx. Many a well earned trophy’s and certificates were presented to many of the cadets in the unit by Dover Town Mayor, White Cliffs Branch Chairman, senior area RN Cadet officers and yours truly.
This was Sarah Butler’s last evening as she has been promoted to the RN Cadet District team.                       A rather tearful Sarah saying goodbye after watching a very touching film in her honour presented by the Cadets.

My thanks to Janet Barkway for her lovely photograhs