Family Occasion on Parade at RAF Halton

Jane Reilly  |  Published: Aug 14th 2017

Recruit Training Squadron (RTS) Flight Commander, Flight Lieutenant Chris Thornton, commanded his last Parade this week before leaving on posting to RAF Linton-On-Ouse, however this was a very significant and special Parade for him as the Queen’s Colour Bearer was his wife, Flight Lieutenant Wendy Thornton, who works in Central Training School at RAF Halton.

Chris, who comes from Burnley, has been in the Royal Air Force for 19 years and said that this was: “The highlight of my career.”

He continued: “It is timely that my wife and I had the opportunity to stand on Parade together on such a rewarding day. The recruits graduating on Campion Intake today have shone through the past 10 weeks culminating in a strong performance on Parade in front of their friends and families, who I am sure are as proud of them as I am.  I have truly enjoyed my tour at Recruit Training Squadron as Intake Commander on Campion Intake which has in part been down to a fantastic support network of SNCO’s, Sgt Dan Allanson and Sgt Sunny Aven, and Flight Corporals, who are second to none in the role they deliver.  RAF Halton has always been supportive of RTS in providing colour bearers and escorting personnel and today has been made more special, commanding my last Parade with my wife Wendy, who has stood by me during my time on Recruit Training Squadron.”

Wendy said: “ I’d just like to say that it was an absolute honour and privilege to be trusted to carry the Queen’s Colour at Campion Intake’s Graduation. To be entrusted with this whilst also being able to support my husband at his last Parade as Campion’s Flight Commander is a fantastic opportunity and I was extremely proud to do so, although it did add an additional pressure to getting the drill right! I think that for Chris, perhaps the most important constituent has been the team ethos that he works and has thrived within. I know that he has valued all the support, work ethic, and humour enormously.”

Wendy graduated Basic Officer Training at RAF Cranwell in August 2009 around the same time as Chris. Her RAF career to date has been RAF Lossiemouth, RAF Kinloss, The Defence Academy at Shrivenham, Joint Forces Command at Brunssum in the Netherlands, and now for Central Training School at RAF Halton (specifically Capability Development Wing).

Campion Intake on Parade, image Crown copyright
Campion Intake on Parade, image Crown copyright
Campion Intake on Parade, images Crown copyright
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