Kevin Pacey-Bartlett

Joined 1989

Peterborough HQ Ambulance Cadet Division, Cambridgeshire

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Colour photograph of a male Cadets being met by a group of adults in St John Ambulance uniform. They are standing outside with the brick wall of a building visible behind them.
Kevin Pacey-Bartlett receiving his Grand Prior Award from Douglas Ayre, County Commissioner for Cambridgeshire, at an Annual Inspection, Peterborough, 1993 Image courtesy of Kevin Pacey-Bartlett
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Other memorable events with St John, I attended Buckingham Palace in 1994 for the Grand Prior reception with Princess Anne. So that was a lovely event, a group of us – I’m not sure how many, I think it was one or two Cadets from every county in the country attended the Grand Prior reception each year at the time. And we were met with by Princess Anne and we had tea, that was lovely being given I think asparagus wrapped in bacon by the footmen and just all standing around just being amazed that we were in Buckingham Palace. And just seeing all of the – the size of the garden as we deemed it, just looking outside the doors and just not being able to see the end of the lawn. It was just amazing, lots of opportunities like that occurred.

Also each year we used to do an annual inspection; it was a requirement that every county did an inspection every single year. And if we didn’t attend the inspection, you couldn’t receive a recognition for your year’s service for St John towards the Service Medal. So every year, around about October or November, we would convene in the car park at the Peterborough headquarters and this would be every division from the area. The men in their section as the Ambulance volunteers, they weren’t allowed to mix with the ladies from the Nursing Division. And likewise with the Cadets, we had the Ambulance and Nursing Cadets, all separate, all stood in our separate sections on parade for the County Commissioner and the Area Commissioner to go around and speak to every volunteer. And this would take a couple of hours normally, it was very cold. If there were any awards to be given, our name would be called out and we’d have to go to the front and salute the County Commissioner to receive our award. And quite often, one or two people would faint having been stood still for so long, they would move to the front and then collapse on the floor, which of course, there was an abundance of First Aiders to deal with that situation so they were well looked after. But every single year, you could guarantee somebody would faint but yeah, it was always well attended because it was compulsory.

Excerpt courtesy of Kevin Pacey-Bartlett