Published: 10:00, 30 July 2020
| Updated: 11:55, 30 July 2020
An army cadet veteran who dedicated himself to the service for more than half a century and helped mentor thousands of youngsters has retired.
Major Keith Bloor was the commanding officer for north Kent and the Medway Towns.
The grandad dedicated 52 years to the service, where he was responsible for more than 300 cadets and 33 adults at a time, and has seen thousands of young people and grown-ups under his charge over the years.
Major Bloor, from Hartlip Hill, Sittingbourne, first joined Kent ACF as a cadet, before becoming an adult instructor in 1971 and quickly made a name for himself with his ability to cook, with some describing his egg and bacon sandwich as "legendary".
He was awarded the Lord Lieutenant's Meritorious Service award in 2009 and also received his Cadet Force Medal in May 1983, his first clasp honour in May 1991, second clasp in April 1999, third clasp in April 2005 and fourth clasp in April 2011. Major Bloor was awarded a fifth clasp to the Cadet Force Medal in 2017.
The 68-year-old revealed meeting the Queen was one of his stand-out moments.
He said: "I have several stand-out moments from my time in the Kent ACF, namely meeting Her Majesty the Queen, with two cadets from the squadron, and I was humbled to have laid the wreath on behalf of the county in front of a packed Menin Gate, Ypres, on the occasion of the 29,000th ceremony since the end of the First World War.
"The following year, I had the opportunity to take the squadron to Ypres on a battlefield tour and was honoured by taking the salute on the Last Post ceremony at the Menin Gate.
"In my many years’ service, I have watched shy young people walk through the door and seen them grow and flourish into confident well-rounded citizens. I am pleased to have played a part in shaping their lives."
Commandant Kent ACF Colonel Richard Long TD said: “I would like to formally thank Major Bloor for all his hard work – 52 years' loyal service shows outstanding dedication and commitment.
"Without such volunteers such as Major Bloor we would not be able to offer the youth of Kent such a wide range of fabulous opportunities that we do today.
"Major Bloor is an outstanding role model and mentor to the cadets and an example of what can be achieved within the cadet movement. He will be sorely missed but we wish him a happy retirement."
More by this authorSean McPolin
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