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King's Lynn cadet finds surprise letter from Prince Phillip three days before his death

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The Officer Commanding 42F (King’s Lynn) Squadron RAF Air Cadets, Flt Lt Pauline Petch, had a real surprise when opening the mail on returning to the Air Training Centre following lockdown.

The centre had been closed since the start of the pandemic, with the weekly cadet meetings having taken place each week online.

However, permission has now been given to return to Cadet meetings at the centre, the first being at the weekend when the Sqn NCOs were allowed in to prepare for the first Cadet training evening.

Pauline Petch with letter for Lynn air cadets from Prince Philip (46564954)
Pauline Petch with letter for Lynn air cadets from Prince Philip (46564954)

An envelope from Buckingham Palace caught Flt Lt Petch’s eye as she went through the accumulated mail, which turned out to be a letter from the Duke of Edinburgh dated 6th April 2021.

The Duke was a keen supporter of the Air Cadets and had visited the centre in the past and each year the squadron would send him a specially designed card highlighting all that the squadron had been doing during the preceding 12 months, this year covering all the virtual activities that had been undertaken.

The letter, written shortly before the Dukes passing, thanked Flt Lt Petch for the card, wishing her and all those in the squadron his warm best wishes.

It was therefore a really poignant moment for Pauline on opening the letter, which had been written so close to the Dukes death but which she did not receive until the day after the national period of mourning had finished.

The Air Cadets have now recommenced their regular bi-weekly meetings and will be soon looking forward to an intake day for any wishing to join.

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