All five siblings of the Pring family from Bristol were St John Ambulance Cadets. They were photographed for the St John Review in April 1977
Year of Youth 100 Logo

Help us to capture the experiences and achievements of Cadets across the country as we celebrate the Charity’s Year of Youth


To celebrate the centenary of the St John Ambulance Cadets, the Museum of the Order of St John is launching the Cadet Oral History Project 2022. The project, designed in collaboration with current and former Cadets, will involve 36 young people from across England who will be trained and supported to capture the experiences of Cadets from the 1940s up to the present day.

St John Ambulance Cadets have played an important role in many significant moments in history including World War Two and events such as Elizabeth II’s coronation and Churchill’s funeral. As well as recording such ‘extraordinary’ experiences, the interviews will also explore the ‘everyday’, for example what motivated young people to join, experiences of unit meetings and training, wearing the uniform and the impact that being a Cadet has had on other areas of participants’ lives.

The resulting oral histories will be shared publicly in an online exhibition and accessioned into the Museum’s archive ensuring their future preservation and accessibility.

The project is kindly funded by St John Ambulance, the St John Fellowship and a grant from The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

How to get involved:

Current Cadets:

We are looking for Cadets from across England to explore, record and celebrate the contributions made by young people to the work of St John Ambulance from 1922 to the present day through the collection of oral histories.

Cadets will work in pairs, supported by an oral historian and Museum staff, to interview former Cadets from their region. In order to carry out the interviews, Cadets will receive in-person training from the oral historian so that they are able to confidently prepare for and carry out the interview. Training will include the discussion of sensitive topics as well as protecting patient confidentiality.

Participation in this project can be used towards service hours and the attainment of the Enrichment Grand Prior subject.

For more information and to apply please fill in the below form by 23:59 on 17 April 2022.

Past Cadets:

Would you like to share your experiences of being a St John Cadet with our young interviewers? If so, we would love to hear from you. Over the course of the year we are aiming to record and collect 24 oral histories from across the country.

If you would like to participate, you will need to complete a short form and return this to the Museum team by 17 April 2022.

There are 3 ways you can do this:

  • Download the form here and return by email to
  • Request a hard copy to be posted to you to complete by hand.
  • Arrange a phone call with a member of the Museum team.

To request hard copies or arrange a phone call, please contact the Museum on 020 7324 4005. The phones are monitored Thursday – Saturday, 10am – 5pm. Outside these times please leave a message with your name and number and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Will you be interviewing everyone who applies? We can interview 24 former Cadets for the project. Participants will be selected by the project steering group to ensure we get a wide range of stories, covering different decades and different parts of the country. It takes time to schedule, prepare, carry out and transcribe oral histories and we want to make sure that we can give everyone involved a great experience. We will acknowledge every submission and everyone who applies will be invited to attend a celebration event.

What if I am not selected? Can I still share my story? Absolutely! Everyone’s story is valuable. If we cannot interview you this time around, you can choose to submit your written reminiscences to the archive.

Where will the oral history interviews take place? In St John buildings across England. Pre-agreed travel expenses will be reimbursed. If you cannot travel, please indicate this on your form and a member of the team will be in touch to discuss alternative arrangements.

Will the interviews be filmed? No. We are making audio recordings of the interviews.

I don’t live in England, can I still participate? Because the interviews will be carried out in person, we are only able record participants based in England. However, every former Cadet, wherever they are based in the world, can submit written reminiscences to the archive.

Are there certain times I need to be available? Yes. Interviews will be carried out in late May/early June (London and South Region and East Region) and late July/early August (North Region and West Region).

How long will the interview last? On average between 60–120 minutes.

What will happen to the recording after the interview? After the interview, the recording will be transcribed. Transcripts will be sent to participants to check for accuracy. When everyone is happy, the recording and the transcript will become part of the Museum’s archive and available for the public to consult. Excerpts will be incorporated into an online exhibition and may also be used in the Museum’s displays. We will work closely with participants to ensure they feel comfortable with how their voice and story are being represented.

Is the Museum collecting objects and photographs relating to the Cadets? Yes! The centenary year is a fantastic opportunity to enrich our collection. If you have photographs, ephemera or objects you would like to donate please email We are only able to accept items that relate directly to the experiences of Cadets and Badgers and that we do not already have. A member of the team will be very happy to discuss.

Who can I contact if I have a question? Please call 020 7324 4005 or email and a member of the heritage team will get back to you as soon as possible.

I would like to see the online exhibition. How can I get updates on the project? The best way to receive project updates, as well as other heritage news, is to sign up to the Museum’s e-newsletter on our homepage.




The Museum of the Order of St John would like to thank all those who have supported and continue to support its work. In particular, the Museum would like to thank the following for their generosity: