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....

Brighton Sea Cadet Unit was formally commissioned 70 years ago as part of the Naval Brigade and, having led a rather nomadic life, was finally presented with the Benson Hall by the widow of the late Lieutenant Commander Benson, who had been a stalwart member of the Sussex RNVR and a member of the Navy League.

The Unit was initially commissioned as T.S. Dolphin and later T.S. Brighton, after the demise of any naval ship bearing that name.

The Benson Hall has had a chequered history being a tannery and a garage for horse drawn trams before becoming a Sea Cadet Unit.

We serve a large catchment area in Brighton and are centrally located in Lewes Road with easy access to transport routes.

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