‘I’m so proud of my son!’: Mum’s joy as Islington soldier Daniel named ‘best recruit’ at passing-out parade

Daniel with Mum Marguerita and sister Lorretta at the ceremony

Daniel with Mum Marguerita and sister Lorretta at the ceremony - Credit: Archant

An Islington lad who dreamed of becoming a soldier and spent his childhood “marching round the kitchen” has made his family proud by being named “best recruit” in his platoon.

Daniel being congratulated on his award by Lieutenant Colonel Tony Gawthorpe, the inspecting office

Daniel being congratulated on his award by Lieutenant Colonel Tony Gawthorpe, the inspecting office - Credit: Archant

Daniel Bond, 23, of Essex Road, told the Gazette he was “overwhelmed” at coming top out of 48 recruits after successfully completing his British Army Combat Infantryman’s Course.

He was presented with the award following his passing-out parade at his barracks in Catterick, North Yorkshire.

“Personally I’ve really enjoyed the whole experience,” said Daniel following the event.

“It’s been a hell of a challenge, but one I’ve taken to. Being told I had won this award was a bit emotional, and confirmed I’m in the right place.”

Daniel stands to attention at his pass out parade

Daniel stands to attention at his pass out parade - Credit: Archant


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The award is judged by the platoon’s training team, and goes to the trainee who has put in the best overall performance during the course.

Daniel’s platoon commander, Lt Alex Basey-Fisher, had high praise for him.

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“His general attitude and selfless commitment to his fellow recruits has been outstanding,” he said. “The excellent performance he put in during training has put him on course to becoming an NCO [non-commissioned officer] of the future.”

Daniel was joined by his mum Marguerita and sister Lorretta for the ceremony, who told the Gazette of their pride.

“He’s the youngest of my seven children, and i’m just so proud of everything he’s achieved here,” said Marguerita with tears in her eyes.

“It’s what he’s always wanted to do from a young age,” added Lorretta.

“He was always marching round the kitchen as a kid, playing with his army figures. We’ve always been very close, and I know how much this means to him. I couldn’t be happier.”

Daniel will take on two weeks of driver training next, followed by a well deserved rest. After this he’ll head off to Cyprus to join his new unit, the 2nd Battalion The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment, and mum Marguerita says she’ll be sad to see him go abroad.

“I even miss him when he goes down the shop,” she laughed.

“It will be hard to see him go again, but I know he’ll be doing something he loves.”

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