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 first Sea Cadet unit was established in 1854 at Whitstable in Kent, created by communities wanting to give young people instruction on a naval theme. Traditionally old seafarers provided training while local businessmen funded the Unit Headquarters.

City of Leeds Sea Cadets first opened its doors in 1937 on its original premisis on the Aire and Calder Navigation in Leeds. The unit now opperares from its waterside HQ in Stourton with a large unit building home to many dedicated shorebased and waterborn facilities including powerboats, rowing craft, and kayaks. There is also a local woodland area for Marine Cadet Training.

We work partnership with the Royal Navy under a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and receive corporate support from commercial shipping companies and the Maritime sector. Our core purpose is to celebrate Britain's maritime heritage and contribute to its future development by supporting young people as Sea Cadets.

The tradition of community - based Sea Cadet Units continues today with 400 across the UK each with charitable status enabling them to raise funds to meet their running costs. All Units are members of the Sea Cadet Corps and are governed by the national charity MSSC - the Marine Society & Sea Cadets.

Present Day

City of Leeds Sea Cadets remains steadfast and strong to the present day, opperating from its current HQ in Stourton, Leeds.

Command Team

The unit is manned by a dedicated team of volunteers, under the command of the unit Commanding Officer and his Command Team

Commanding Officer: PO(SCC) M.I. Varley
The CO/OiC is responsible for the discipline, training and safety of the instructional staff and cadets, for all cadet activities and for the general staff and training administration of the unit.

Executive Officer: PO(SCC) B. Haddington
The primary purpose of the Executive Officer is to ensure that the policies as set by the CO are achieved. The secondary purpose of the Executive Officer is to act as second in command of the unit and to deputise for the CO in their absence.

RMCD Detachment Commander: CSgt(SCC) G. Maindonald
The primary role of the Det Cdr is to ensure that the policies set at National and Company level are managed locally within the Detachment/unit environment. The secondary roles are to:
a. Support and advise the CO/OiC staff on all matters relating to Royal Marines Cadets.
b. Support the Troop Commander and Company Commander on Company Training Events and activities.

First Lieutenant PO(SCC) T. Major
The primary purpose of the First Lieutenant is to work with the Executive Officer to ensure that the policies as set by the CO are achieved.

Unit Training Officer: PO(SCC) G. Edwards
The primary purpose of the Training Officer is to carry out all training requirements laid out by the CO and SCC HQ.

Unit Management Team

The unit management team (UMT) are volunteers and act as the unit’s trustees, headed up by unit chairperson, secretary and treasurer. The UMT is responsible for the running of the unit at a strategic and management level.

Unit Chairperson: Julia Wilson
Primary Purpose of the Unit Chair is to maintain, develop and chair an effective UMT that effectively supports the unit.


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