A DROITWICH soldier has had the privilege of being part of a team of ceremonial flag raisers at almost 300 medal ceremonies taking place during the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
Cpl Samuel Whelan is a Recovery Mechanic with 3 Armoured Close Support Battalion REME (Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers).
As part of his duties the 25-year-old has been raising the flags of the gold, silver and bronze medal-winning athletes’ countries at the Second City’s Alexander Stadium.
Cpl Whelan who is also a Physical Training Instructor (PTI) responsible for maintaining and developing the physical fitness of the soldiers in the Battalion, said: “I’ve always enjoyed sport.
“My grandad was a PTI in the RAF and one of the founders of the Droitwich Athletics Club.
“I will be soaking up the atmosphere and just enjoy being a part of the games.”
The ceremonial flag-raisers comprising 67 Army personnel, 36 members of the Royal Air Force and 35 from the Royal Navy and Royal Marines trained for this prestigious honour at Nesscliffe training camp in the West Midlands.
They completed refresher training in basic drill and the art of ceremonial flag-raising.
The training led by the Army School of Ceremonial also included rigorous dress inspections to ensure their appearance and bearing has been of the highest standard each time they have marched out in full view of an international audience.
Colour Sgt Lee Blackstock was one of the team from the All-Arms Drill Wing who delivered the training and also directed the rehearsals of the drill manoeuvres for the funeral of His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh.
He said: “There is an enormous sense of pride amongst the personnel taking part.
“I’m happy they are all at the required standard and I will be watching them with pride when they are on TV.”
The Army has four soldiers representing their countries at the games including Lance Cpl Megan Reid (Scotland) in the women’s boxing, in Judo, Cpl Sarah Hawkins has represented Northern Ireland and Lance Cpl Victor Ahiavor Ghana and Cpl Arnold Rogers has ran the marathon on behalf of Gibraltar.