Blandford Forum, Culture, History, Latest News | Posted: Friday, July 3rd, 2020 at 4:09 pm | return to news

‘Jimmy’ launched into space from Blandford Camp

A Royal Warrant for the creation of a Corps of Signals was signed by the Secretary of State, Winston Churchill, on 28 June 1920 and six weeks later George V conferred the title Royal Corps of Signals.

Matt and Jim at Blandford Camp
Matt and Jim at Blandford Camp

And to mark the corps’ 100th anniversary, a balloon carrying a Royal Corps of Signals cap badge – called a Jimmy – was sent into space.

The Jimmy in Space project was sponsored by Poole-based cyber security company C3IA Solutions.

Matt Horan, a former Signaller and security director of C3IA Solutions, watched the launch at Blandford Camp with colleague Jim Hawkins.

Three Signals Senior NCOs undertook the project to complete their Foreman of Signals course, one of the technically toughest in the military.

With the sponsorship they were able to buy the equipment, including hydrogen and a balloon.

Despite atrocious conditions the balloon rose to 40,656 metres – 133,385 feet – and sent back photos.

Ben Steane, Danny Metcalfe and Jittan Rai who were behind the launch later recovered the balloon near Marlborough.

Matt Horan said, “It’s a real shame that the Signal’s centenary celebrations have been curtailed. But the Foreman of Signals course has continued and this project under difficult circumstances to send back photos from 130,000 feet was a huge success.

“The images sent back in real time are remarkable and I know the Royal Signals will be pleased that their cap badge has gone higher than anyone else’s.”

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