Gad’s Hill cadet Gareth Atkins carried the Union Jack at a special event in Gravesend, held to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday.

15-year-old Gareth, from Meopham, and fellow cadets represented the Higham school’s Combined Cadet Force (CCF) contingent at the lighting of a beacon at Windmill Hill.

Deputy Lieutenant of Kent Jacques Arnold, invited Gareth to be flag-bearer while His Worshipful The Mayor of Gravesham lit the beacon to mark the birth date of Queen Elizabeth II, the UK’s longest-reigning monarch.

The Gad’s cadets were joined by Gravesham Sea Cadets and Air Cadets, and a crowd of well-wishers paying their respects to the Queen at the official lighting ceremony, which was closed with a roaring rendition of the National Anthem.

Gad’s Contingent Commander Major Lamb said:  “It is an honour to be invited to such a prestigious event, and to be part of British history.

“Our cadets often attend formal national events, and always make me, and the whole school, extremely proud.

“Tonight was extra special as Gareth was selected to carry-out such an important duty in front of so many people – he did so with maturity and respect.

Gareth and his peers all commented on what a proud occasion it was and how they look forward to sharing their memories and experiences of the night for years to come.

Mr Arnold, 65, supports Lord Lieutenant of Kent Viscount Philip De L’Isle in organising and accompanying members of the Queen’s family on royal visits to Kent, and finding local people deserving of honours.

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