Boys Brigade chief is......a girl!

TOP HONOUR -- Ciera Dolan

TOP HONOUR -- Ciera Dolan

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A TRAILBLAZING teenager from Annesley has become the first girl to rise to the rank of battalion sergeant major in the 123-year history of the Nottingham Boys Brigade.

CIERA DOLAN (18), pictured, of Annesley Cutting, has been a member of the 25th Nottingham Company in Warren Hill, near Top Valley, for almost six years.

But she was taken aback when winning the title, which she will hold for a year and is the most senior non-officer rank a member can achieve.

“I was a bit surprised,” said Ciera, who is currently completing A-levels in dance, drama, philosophy and psychology at Bilborough College. “Girls have only been able to apply for the last few years and some people still have the opinion only boys should get the rank.”

It only became compulsory for companies to allow girls to become members two years ago. Previously, it was optional.

There are seven girls in the 25th Nottingham of a membership of more than 30.

As battalion sergeant major, Ciera will act as a figurehead for the Boys Brigade, representing the county at official gatherings, presenting awards at ceremonies and promoting the organisation.

She added: “I have received a lot of positive comments. People have said how much I deserve it and what a good job I will do.”

Ciera was handed her ‘staff of office’ during the annual parade at the Albert Hall in Nottingham — DISPIC 11-1291-1.