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When cadet Ashley-Jane met PM Gordon

PUBLISHED: 15:42 08 July 2009 | UPDATED: 10:49 23 August 2010

PROUD: Cadet Ashley-Jane

PROUD: Cadet Ashley-Jane

A 12-YEAR-OLD girl has spoken about her immense pride at meeting Prime Minister Gordon Brown on the first national Armed Forces Day, writes Michael Adkins. Ashley-Jane Shaw, from Northfleet, was among hundreds of cadets, servicemen and former personnel

A 12-YEAR-OLD girl has spoken about her 'immense pride' at meeting Prime Minister Gordon Brown on the first national Armed Forces Day, writes Michael Adkins.

Ashley-Jane Shaw, from Northfleet, was among hundreds of cadets, servicemen and former personnel who took part in the event at Chatham Dockyard.

The TS Lennox cadet, who attends Northfleet School for Girls, said: "It was immensely proud when I met Gordon Brown but I was quite nervous about the whole day.

"Mr Brown spoke to me and it was funny because he asked what university I was attending when I leave school next year. I told him my age and he went 'Oh! Good Gracious'. It's probably because I am quite tall for my age but it was quite funny.

"The day was brilliant but performing the routine as a guard, doing the change over of the rifle in front of all these important people makes you quite nervous, I had butterflies in my stomach.

"It is important we have an event like this to recognise and thank all our armed forces and I was just glad I could be there."

Despite her age Ashley-Jane hopes to join either the Police or RFA (Royal Fleet Auxiliary) when she finally leaves school - but that's a few years yet.

She joined the Gravesend branch TS Lennox, based at North West Kent College, about three years ago after visiting the base in Gosport, Portsmouth where her relatives attend.

Her proud mother Lea-Ann Shaw, 31, said: "It was a great day and we are all so proud. At such a young age to meet the Prime Minister at such an important event is great she is very lucky."

Her uncle Kevin Shaw, also from Northfleet, added: "The whole family is very proud of her and all the TS Lennox Sea Cadets."

Scores of Kent Army Cadets, including 30 cadets from Kent ACF Royal Engineers Squadron helped to line the route on the arrival of HRH The Duke of Gloucester and other invited guests. He talked to cadets, as did Mr Brown and his wife Sarah, before attending the Drumhead Service, one of the lessons being read by Cadet Staff Sgt

Graham Barreen.

Cadet Corporal Jade Andrews, 17, from Gravesend, who has been a member of the Kent Army Cadets for three years also spoke to the Prime Minister who said he appreciated the hard work of the unit.

michael.adkins@archant.co.uk

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