ABOUT 561 Ardwyn, Aberystwyth & District Squadron
Commanding Officers Welcome,
May I welcome you to No. 561 (Ardwyn, Aberystwyth and District) Squadron Air Training Corps updated website which I hope will provide you with information, news and the activities and achievements of its members.
The Squadron serves the population of northern Ceredigion and the surrounding areas and offers opportunities for young people between the ages of 12½ and 20 years provided by a committed staff of volunteers.
I hope that you will enjoy reading the information provided by this the latest expanded website.
Sgt(ATC) Eifion Parry
About the Squadron
The Squadron draws young people from the area of northern Ceredigion.
It is based in Aberystwyth, but attracts young people from the Aberaeron and Tregaron areas who have an interest in aviation related subjects.
Cadets enjoy a wide variety of activities which include; gliding and flying as well as, sports, marksmanship, adventure training, Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and associated subjects.
The Squadron parades on Wednesday and Friday evenings at the Squadron Headquarters between 6.30pm and 9.00pm and you are welcome to join us at any time.
Cadets also enjoy many weekend activities within the Squadron and occasionally with other cadets from No. 3 Welsh Wing and beyond.
The Squadron Crest
The Red Kite
The prophetic nature of life.
A bird skilled in flight, once quite rare and endangered, but now numerous in the area served by the Squadron.
Signifies the skill of flight and adaption to flying, together with the movement of everyday life for members of the Squadron.
The freshness and vitality of the earth and countryside.
The pastures and foothills of the Cambrian Mountains.
Signifies the knowledge and skills achieved by members of the Squadron through Adventurous training, outdoor activities, field craft and Duke of Edinburgh’s Award activities.
The Blue waves are the pure river and lake waters, the white waves are the pure snow capping hills and mountains.
Signifies the sea waters of the Cambrian coast and the seven main rivers bordering the area served by the Squadron; Afon Aeron, Afon Dyfi, Afon Gwy, Afon Hafren, Afon Rheidol, Afon Teifi and Afon Ystwyth.
The precious light of life.
Signifies achievements, new skills and knowledge gained in life as a member of the Squadron.
Outline of Castle Point
Signifies the history of the Squadron. It was around 1272 that Edward 1 who had Aberystwyth Castle built began his reign. The memorial completed in 1922 is a reminder of the former cadets who have lost their lives in conflict.
A reminder that we are a bilingual Squadron and the Red Kite soaring over it suggests that we strive to be better than most Squadrons in Wales.
The Air Training Corps founded its first Squadrons on 5th. February 1941, in response to a call to train young men between the ages of 15 and 18 years for their future roles in a wartime Royal Air Force, and this remained the primary role of the A.T.C. until the end of conscription in 1963.
The first Squadron in Aberystwyth was No. 1272 (Aberystwyth) Squadron, founded in February 1941 under the leadership of Flight Lieutenant Llewellyn Edwards AFC, RAFVR(T), a former fighter pilot in the Royal Flying Corps during WW1, and the manager of Lloyds Bank in Aberystwyth. During the early part of WW2 he was Officer Commanding No. 6 Training Unit RAF in Victoria Terrace, Aberystwyth. It was here that the Squadron was based until it moved to Rock House in its later years.
The Squadron's first Chairman was Col. Sir George Fossett Roberts.
No. 1272 (Aberystwyth) Squadron ATC was set up with five Flights, Aberystwyth, Ardwyn Grammar School, Llanbadarn Fawr, Machynlleth County School and Tregaron each commanded by a Flying Officer.
Flight Lieutenant Llewellyn Edwards became the manager of Lloyds Bank in Haverfordwest in 1943 and became the Area Officer for the Air Training Corps. He was succeeded by Squadron Leader Whytt DFC, RAFVR(T).
The successful invasion of France on 6th June 1944 and the subsequent breakout of allied forces through the continental countries, led to the closure of many Air Training Corps Squadrons during the autumn of 1944. It was at this point that No. 561 (Ardwyn Grammar School) Squadron Air Training Corps was established as a closed Squadron for Ardwyn Grammar School boys under the leadership of its headmaster D.C. Lewis. It was based in a hut donated by the Royal Air Force in the grounds of the school. No. 1272 (Aberystwyth) Squadron Air Training Corps continued in parallel as an Open Squadron serving Aberystwyth, Machynlleth and Tregaron.
A separate (Dyfi ) Squadron was formed in Machynlleth during the early 1950s, and Tregaron attempted to unsuccessfully form a separate Squadron during the early 1960s. It was during this period when Squadron closed in Aberaron, Cardigan and Newcastle Emlyn.
During the mid 1960s with inadequate accommodation and resources within the town of Aberystwyth, it was decided to amalgamate the two Squadrons as No.561 (Ardwyn,Aberystwyth) Squadron Air Training Corps based at Ardwyn Grammar School in St. Davids Road.
During 1974 the Squadron hut and accommodation moved to a plot of land alongside Aberystwyth Rugby Club in Plascrug Avenue under the leadership of Flight Lieutenant Don Shaw RAFVR(T) and after 1983 Flight Lieutenant John Wall RAFVR(T).
In 1996 with the completion of the new T.A. Centre, No. 561 (Ardwyn, Aberystwyth) Squadron Air Training Corps re-established itself under the leadership of Flight Lieutenant Dave McKeever RAFVR(T) and subsequently Flight Lieutenant Phil Caisley RAFVR(T) at Boulevard Sant Brieuc.
The present Squadron Commander, Flight Lieutenant Clive Parker RAFVR(T) assumed command in 1999, and as No. 561 (Ardwyn, Aberystwyth and District) Squadron Air Training Corps the Squadron serves the population of northern Ceredigion and its surrounding areas. Unsuccessful attempts have subsequently been made to re establish Flights in Aberaeron, Machynlleth and Tregaron since then.
Now in its seventy-fourth year, the Squadron continues to offer opportunities to young people between the ages of 12 1/2 and 20 years.