History

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....

The Unit was probably first formed in the late 1930’s. It was certainly operating successfully in 1942. It was based at Kent’s Bank School. For a period from 1945 until 1959, the Unit seems to have stopped operating. In 1962, the Unit was restarted at Normanton School. In 1975, the Unit moved to premises in Ashwood Dale, owned by ICI. The building used to be an Isolation Hospital. In 1975? The HQ was changed to the Thermal Baths in The Crescent. In 1978, came the final move to the present site at Silverlands on land owned by the Ministry of Defence. The new boat shed was built between 1993 to 1997

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