Trafalgar Day commemoration by Sea Cadets will look a little different this year – instead of hundreds of cadets gathering on London’s Trafalgar Square, units and districts will be holding local parades at the heart of their communities.
Practical restrictions around large-scale events owing to the pandemic has made it difficult to go ahead with one of our biggest national events. However, it presents an exciting opportunity to build stronger links with community members and ensure they can all join in on the fun.
London Sea Cadets will be holding a parade at the Lower Grand Square quadrangle of the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich at 12:30 on 21 October. There’s a special link between Trafalgar Day and Greenwich as Admiral Lord Nelson’s body lay in state at the Royal Hospital in Greenwich in 1805. Many of the seamen who served at Trafalgar were also admitted to this hospital.
Wreaths will be laid by the principal guests and a short service and the reading of Nelson’s Prayer will be held before the parade will march off, with the senior VIP taking the salute.
Over 160 cadets and 50 volunteers from across 10 units in East Kent got together to hold a parade for the public at Dover Castle on 17 October. It was followed by a service in the ancient church of St Mary in Castro, on the grounds of the castle.
“It is so important that we try to bring the district calendar back into play, for the wellbeing of all units and the wider Sea Cadets organization,” said the District Officer for East Kent, Lt Cdr (SCC) RNRK. D. Martin. “The cadets learn about the world outside of their own unit and develop those lifelong friendships which are a hallmark of the Sea Cadets movement.”
Manchester District also held their Trafalgar Day parade on 17 October, which included many VIPs such as the Deputy Lieutenant of Greater Manchester, the Mayors and Mayoresses of Stockport and Salford as well as the Mayors of Oldham and Tameside.
Sea Cadets remember their roots and commemorate Lord Nelson’s victory at the Battle of Trafalgar on 21 October 1805. It’s the most important day in the naval calendar, defining British sailing for hundreds of years and highlighting the significance of a strong Royal Navy.
Trafalgar Day is an opportunity for cadets to come together socially and demonstrate their values. It’s also a chance for cadets to present their leadership, self-discipline and teamwork skills during marching, performing and drill, following in the Royal Navy traditions.
Sea Cadets plan to return to the usual national events programme in 2022, restrictions permitting.
- Follow @SeaCadetsUK social media on Trafalgar Day, 21 October, where local parade celebrations will be spotlighted. Volunteers and cadets can share their photos on social media with the tag #SeaCadetsTrafDay.
- Units are also invited to look at the ‘Trafalgar Way’ virtual activity which cadets and adults may enjoy following as a physical/learning activity – more information can be found here.
- Did you know? Sea cadets have marched through London on the closest Sunday to 21 October for 100 years! Take a look at the 1938 Parade here