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 location of the Salisbury Sea Cadets unit is on the banks of he River Avon upstream from Wiltshire College. The old unit was constructed in 1969 largely from the remains of the pre-war Harnham School . In the past the cadet unit has opened its doors to local groups such as the local Royal Naval Association for its meetings and , a local driving instructors group. We have also hosted young bands so that they may have somewhere to practice. The old building was tired and old and in much need of replacement, with a sinking roof a lot of weight being forced onto the old structure when for the last five years was supported by steel stanchions, it was no longer a viable option to keep repairing. So now it is completed we hope that the new building may help us continue to work with the young people of the Salisbury District for many more years to come. The new building has helped to enhance the Churchill gardens and with a larger main deck it will attract other community groups. we have already taken bookings for the unit. It has six greatly improved classrooms and a galley. But, most of all it is modern. We have one of the most modern cadet units therefore allowing us to run courses at the weekend for cadets in the Southern Area and the UK.

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