HAMPSHIRE teenagers representing the Sea Cadets, Army Cadet Force and the Air Training Corps gathered in Winchester to bid farewell to the Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire, Dame Mary Fagan who retires later this year.

More than 100 cadets were on parade and they were joined by many former Lord Lieutenant’s Cadets, including one of the very first, appointed 20 years ago.

Dame Mary was met by the Commandant of Hampshire and Isle of Wight ACF, Colonel Rodney Lambert, Wing Commander Peter Priest from the ATC and Lieutenant Jacky de Bruyne representing the Sea Cadet Corps.

She inspected the cadets, who came from all parts of the County, before they presented her with a garden bench to mark her long association with the cadet movement.

Following lunch with the cadets, Dame Mary was ‘piped out’ by a cadet from the Millbrook Detachment, Cadet Christina Maple, who led the Lord Lieutenant along a route lined by the cadets.

Col Lambert said: “Dame Mary has been a staunch supporter of the cadet forces from all three services and invariably takes a keen interest in all of our activities, indeed, her own grandson is a cadet with the Combined Cadet Force and is currently enjoying a cadet adventurous training course in Canada.

“All of the county cadet forces wished to mark the end of an era as Dame Mary steps down from the Lieutenancy in September and we are very pleased to be able to do so today.”

Dame Mary said: “The whole day has been a wonderful surprise and is one which I shall never forget. The cadet forces from all three services do a wonderful job and our county should be thankful for all that they offer in the way of developing young people to achieve their full potential. I was so pleased to see many of my former cadets and to hear of their successes in life. It has been a most enjoyable day.”