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24 January 2007
The Queen presents the Sword of Honour
to Angela Laycock
Engineering graduate, Junior Under Officer Angela Laycock received the Sword of Honour prize at Sandhurst, an award which is given to the most outstanding student of each course at the military academy.
She is the third woman to win the honour and was presented with the sword by the Queen at the Sovereign's Parade when the cadets passed out at the end of their gruelling 44-week course.
The prestigious awarded is given to the officer cadet considered by the academy's Commandant, to be the best of the intake.
Angela originally from Bedford, has no military family background and attended a state school. Her father is a printer and her mother a teaching assistant. She has dreamed of joining the Army since she was a child, and joined cycling, rowing and running clubs whilst at Cambridge. She said "It was all quite overwhelming. I didn't expect to win this. I'm so pleased to have received this honour, especially as we have to compete equally with the boys.
"It's been a lifelong goal of mine to join the Army. Ever since I was 15 or 16 at school I decided Sandhurst was for me. I love putting into practice all that they teach."
She added: "The commandant started to call out the winners of the 'big three' - the Overseas Sword of Honour, The Queen's Medal and finally the Sword of Honour. I was so nervous I instinctively sprang to attention."
Angela attended Hastingsbury Upper School in Bedford before joining Welbeck college, the military's sixth-form college in Leicestershire which specialises in engineering subjects.
Angela achieved five A grade A levels including one of the top five marks in maths in the country, then went on to study engineering here at the Department. She was a rowing finalist at Henley and represented England in the home countries rowing championship in 2003.
A Sandhurst spokesman said: "Female officer cadets at Sandhurst do exactly the same course as their male counterparts and compete on the same terms. Angela, with no Service family background, has proved to be a truly exceptional officer cadet."
As 2nd Lieutenant Laycock, she will now start her specialist training with the Royal Engineers.
More information can be found on the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst website
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