Sgt Constant ATC Awarded Quinton Memorial Trophy

Sgt Ellie Constant ATC of 593 (Swanley) Squadron has been awarded the coveted Quinton Memorial Trophy. The Quinton Memorial Trophy is a prestigious national award, presented annually to the adult […]

Sgt Ellie Constant ATC of 593 (Swanley) Squadron has been awarded the coveted Quinton Memorial Trophy.

The Quinton Memorial Trophy is a prestigious national award, presented annually to the adult Non-Commissioned Officer who has gained the top academic results on the Senior Non-Commissioned Officer Initial Courses held at the Air Cadet Adult Training Facility, Royal Air Force College Cranwell.

The Quinton Memorial Trophy is named in honour of Flight Lieutenant John Alan Quinton, GC, DFC, an RAF navigator on a Wellington aircraft, which was flying an air cadet on an Air Experience Flight in 1951. During the flight, the aircraft was involved in a mid-air collision and Flight Lieutenant Quinton gave the only parachute within reach to the cadet pushing him out of the aircraft.

His quick and heroic actions saved the life of the cadet but cost him his own. Such an act of heroism and humanity ranks with the very highest traditions of the Royal Air Force and for his courageous and selfless action Flight Lieutenant John Alan Quinton was awarded the George Cross.

Sgt Constant ATC said: “After leaving the ATC as a Cadet Flight Sergeant to study at University I found I missed everything about the Corps. I decided to join the local Squadron and became a CI for the duration of my time at University. On my return I joined 593 (Swanley) Squadron taking on the role of the Training Officer. During this time I really missed being able to do Drill and Discipline among other aspects of being a uniformed member of staff, so I decided to apply to become an Adult Sergeant. Getting back in to uniform and taking on the role of Drill and Discipline on the Squadron was a great moment for me and confirmed to me how much I enjoyed this aspect of the ATC.”

The Quinton Trophy is a commemorative Baton, which all ATC members contributed to as a memorial to the bravery of Flight Lieutenant John Alan Quinton, GC, DFC, RAF. The Baton was originally awarded annually at RAF Halton to the highest achieving ATC cadet entrant. In 1993 when the RAF Holton School closed the Quinton Memorial Trophy was transferred to RAF Cranwell where the trophies link to academic excellence within the Air Cadet movement is maintained.

Sgt Constant (ATC) said: “Back in uniform I was looking forward to attending my SNCO course at RAF Cranwell with the hope that I would be able to improve my Drill and knowledge about being an Adult Sergeant in the ATC. Whilst on the course I was surprised to be assigned the role of Deputy Course Leader but did my best to fulfil the role using experience I had gained throughout my cadet career. I enjoyed the variety of topics covered on the course and gained valuable skills and tuition throughout. I particularly enjoyed the Drill and Ceremonial training and hoped to leave the course with a recommendation to become a Drill Instructor in the future. To my complete surprise on passing the course, I was told that not only had I made the standard for a DI recommendation but I had also been awarded the Top Student for this course. We were told that the Top Students of each course throughout the year would be considered for the Quinton Memorial Trophy. I had not for one moment considered the trophy might be awarded to me, so I was taken totally by surprise when Wing Commander Goodayle telephoned me out of the blue to tell me I had achieved this award. Being awarded this trophy reminded me just how much I had enjoyed the course and the variety of skills I had gained throughout the week. I am looking forward to taking forward my recommendation for Drill Instructor in the near future.”

WO Constant ATC added: “I was very proud to hear of SGT E Constant’s award, she thoroughly deserves the award. Since joining my Squadron she has made a massive impact on the cadets and the other staff with her high standards and motivation towards the ATC and the training she undertakes with the cadets. All the cadets and staff on the Squadron respect her, and are also very proud to have the best NCO to pass through the ATF in 2013 as a member of staff at their Squadron. SGT Constant is always someone everyone can go to for support and guidance, and I know that