Prestigious accolade for Blyth air cadet

From left, Megan Johnson, Matthew Whitehead and Christine Whitehead.
From left, Megan Johnson, Matthew Whitehead and Christine Whitehead.

Cadet Warrant Officer (CWO) Matthew Whitehead has been selected as the best male Cadet in the Air Training Corps (ATC) North region.

The member of the 1000 (Blyth) Squadron Air Cadets fought off stiff competition from more than 4,000 cadets across the area to be named as the North region representative in the prestigious Dacre Sword Competition for Best Male Air Cadet in the UK.

He joined the squadron at the age of 13 and since then has gained the top rank in the ATC, Cadet Warrant Officer, as well as the coveted Junior Leaders lanyard and silver Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, and has been selected to be the Lord Lieutenant’s Cadet for Northumberland, amongst many other cadet achievements.

The 19-year-old travelled with his mother, Christine Whitehead, and his partner, Megan Johnson, to the home of the Air Cadets at RAF Cranwell to collect his award, which was presented by Group Captain Dacre.

He can now look forward to a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Sweden to spend 10 days with the Swedish Air Force.

Officer Commanding Blyth Squadron, Flight Lieutenant Doug Stuart, said: “I’m immensely proud of CWO Whitehead and what he has achieved.”

He added: “Since joining the squadron, he has grasped every opportunity available to him with both hands and has committed himself wholeheartedly to every challenge he has undertaken.

“He inspires all our younger cadets with his ambitious ‘can-do’ attitude, and encourages them to achieve too.

“He is an outstanding ambassador for the ATC.”

The Air Cadets is open to all boys and girls from Year 8 to 17-years-old – for more information on how to join the Air Cadets in Blyth, email