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Caring on the Home Front - Volunteer memories from World War Two


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St John Ambulance cadets


St. John cadets first formed in 1922, one of its missions to turn ‘boyish energies into useful channels.’ Despite the reference to ‘boyish’ energy, girl cadets also began meeting that same year.

From the beginning, behaviour was expected to follow the ‘Cadet Code of Chivalry’, which required cadets, among other things, to help the suffering and to be kind and thoughtful. During the Second World War, St. John Ambulance cadets faced many situations in which they fulfilled the Code’s principles of commitment to and compassion for human life.

Some of the most heroic moments in the history of the cadets occurred during the Blitz. The courage of Betty Popkiss (nee Quinn) during the raid on Coventry earned her the George Medal and international recognition.

But Cadets have also survived and thrived in many other decades. In 2002 the Cadets celebrated eighty years. Many fun facts illustrate a long history: