Young Army recruits pledge allegiance to Queen in ceremony at Leicester Town Hall
Young Army recruits took their first step to becoming soldiers at a special ceremony at Leicester Town Hall.
Watched by family and friends, 28 young people pledged their allegiance to the Queen in a ceremony before Leicester's Lord Mayor.
It marked the start of an Army career which could see them representing Britain in any of the 55 countries across the world where British troops are deployed.
In a ceremony which has changed little in the past 300 years, each recruit stood and pledged their allegiance before receiving a certificate marking the event from Lord Mayor of Leicester, Councillor Abdul Osman.
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Among them was 16-year-old Peter Hadfield, from Hinckley, who was following in the footsteps of his father, grandfather and uncle serving in the Army.
The teenager, who will join the Royal Signals after his basic training, said: "My dad used to take us round places like Catterick and I thought seeing all the tanks was quite cool.
"It's all I've wanted to do since I was about 13. When I finish my training, I'll still only be 17 so there won't be much chance of going to Afghanistan.
"I will be a bit scared but excited at the same time if I have to go."
His dad, John, said: "I'm very proud of him, it will be the start of a great career."
Macaukley Irish, 17, of Melton, who is joining the Royal Artillery, said: "I've wanted to join the Army since I was 13, it's something I've really wanted to do.
"I'm not worried about going to Afghanistan, if it happens, it happens."
Dad Nick, 39, said: "It will give him great opportunities. We're really proud of him."
Grace Adlerstein, 17, of Swinford, near Lutterworth, left a place at a Birmingham music college to pursue a career as a mechanic in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers.
She said: "I left music college because it wasn't for me and I didn't want to waste their time or mine.
"I'd always had it in my mind I wanted to join the Army."
Her mum, Debbie, 48, said: "I always had my doubts, but despite that she persevered and wanted to join up and I back her fully."
Ryan Farrell, 26, of Leicester, gained a 2:1 degree in business management at Brunel University, in London, before joining up to the Royal Corps of Signals.
He said: "I'll be able to carry on with my fitness training in the Army and I'm looking forward to the role I'll be doing because it will be in the field."
Roger Sackey, 25, who left his home in Ghana to join the Royal Logistic Corps as a supplies specialist, said: "I was working in a bank in Ghana, but I have wanted to join the British Army since I was in school."
Captain Paul McGrellis, head of Army recruitment for Leicestershire, said: "We are delighted to welcome these new recruits to the Army."
To see more pictures of recruits, visit our gallery at: