Sea Cadets helps teenagers to stretch themselves and become the best they can be. We know what that takes because we've been doing it for over 160 years.

The turbulence of youth

The pressures that young people face are ever-changing, but what remains constant is that the teenage years can be turbulent. Independence is exciting, but also daunting.

For orphans of the Crimean War, sleeping in the back streets of England’s sea ports, life looked bleak. To help them, coastal communities banded together to provide places for sailors to pass on nautical skills and training to give these destitute young people a future. This is how, in 1856, the Naval Lads’ Brigade was born.

Royal patronage

Soon, they were springing up across the country, and in 1899, Queen Victoria marked their importance to young people by becoming Patron, and giving £10 to the Windsor unit for uniforms.

Today, HM The Queen is our Patron and HRH The Prince Andrew Duke of York KG GCVO is our Admiral of the Corps.

Scroll through our gallery to learn more about our rich history....

TS Valiant has been in Barnstaple since 1946. Initially we were on a boat on the River Yeo.

We are currently located in the Sea Cadet hut at the end of Rolle Quay, next to the River Yeo (It's the place with all the sailing dinghies in it). Hundreds, if not thousands of young Barnstaple and North Devon people have been in Barnstaple Sea Cadets over the years.

We have the Rivers Taw and Yeo right next to the unit and we can regularly be seen boating on the River.

We are a very active unit, getting involved in sailing, powerboating, canoeing/kayaking and rowing.

We teach lots of other skills, such as cook/steward, first aid, drill, marine engineering and many others.

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