Final MDP Pass Out Parade event goes back in time

The digging up of a time capsule, buried 26 years ago, marks the last Pass Out Parade to take place in Wethersfield, at the former
Headquarters for the Ministry of Defence Police.

Ministry of Defence Police
3 min readJul 15, 2022
A concrete plinth with the MDP crest and words engraved regarding the time capsule being buried for the Force’s 25th anniversary, and dug up the 50th anniversary

On Friday 15 July, the Ministry of Defence Police (MDP) held its final Pass Out
Parade at Wethersfield, following the Force’s move of Headquarters to RAF Wyton earlier this year, and with training due to transfer to Southwick Park, Hampshire during August.

Pass Out Parade events for new recruits to mark the end of their training, and
celebrate with friends and family, have been held at the former US airbase in
Wethersfield for every year the MDP has been recruiting, since the Force
relocated there in 1993. The only exception to this was during the COVID-19
pandemic when there were no parade events.

The time capsule was buried outside the Headquarters building, under the flag poles, during a special ceremony to mark the Force’s 25th anniversary in 1996, and it was to be dug up 25 years later, on the MDP’s 50th Anniversary. Although the MDP celebrated its half century on 1 October 2021, it was decided to delay the lifting of the time capsule until the last pass out parade event to take place at Wethersfield.

Two men standing next to a time capsule, one of the men is Chief Constable Andy Adams who is holding the container which is a large black cylinder shape, there is grass and trees in the background
Chief Constable Andy Adams holding the time capsule that was dug up at the former HQ of the MDP

As Chief Constable Andy Adams explains:

“The raising of the time capsule at our final Pass Out Parade at Wethersfield, during what is still the 50th year of the MDP, is particularly fitting as we prepare to fully vacate the Wethersfield site, when training begins at Southwick Park in August.

“This is an exciting time of change for the Force and whilst we reflect on the years gone by, we are very much focused on the future. With that in mind, during October we will be burying a new time capsule outside our new Headquarters at Palmer Pavilion, RAF Wyton, during our official opening ceremony.

“That time capsule will then be raised again in 25 years’ time, to mark the MDP’s 75th Anniversary.”

The time capsule contained:

  • a collection of memorabilia, including several corporate documents and a
  • Passing Out Programmes and a class list from the year of the Force’s 25 th
    anniversary when there was only one intake of 39 recruits
  • prospectus documents from local schools invited to contribute, including one from the Wethersfield C of E Primary School
  • personal artifacts, such as postcards and pictures, from MDP families
  • a West Ham Football programme from 1996
  • a copy of the Sunday Times
  • previous editions of Talk Through — The magazine of the Ministry of Defence Police
  • artwork of MDP officers and their capabilities, and the MDP Band, which
    played at Passing Out ceremonies from 1987 to 2000
  • some more unusual items, including a stamp collection belonging to former
  • MDP Deputy Chief Constable Anthony V Comben, and beer bottle labels from the commemorative ale produced for the Force’s 25 th anniversary by Ridley’s Brewery
Artifacts from the time capsule including a truncheon, the Sunday Times, a Hammers programme, a Corporate Business Plan, a Pass out Parade programme and hand illustrated pictures

More information

Visit for information on current MDP vacancies and to find out more about who we are and what we do.

50 years: delivering unique specialist policing
A brief history of the Ministry of Defence Police
MDP celebrates 50 years
Special 50th Anniversary pass out event for Ministry of Defence Police new recruits