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 started life in the 1930s as TS PHOENIX, based on Eel Pie Island, Twickenham. It then changed name to  TS WILLING in honour of its Commanding Officer, Lt Cdr (Sp) Willing RNVR, who was awarded the DSC for his efforts at the Dunkirk evacuation.

Moving to Trafalgar School, Twickenham, in 1944, it then occupied huts vacated by the US Air Force in Bushy Park in 1946 before finally settling in its current location just off Broom Road, Teddington, in 1949.

In 1963, the Unit changed name once again to TS SAUMAREZ, in honour of the WWII Royal Navy destroyer adopted by the then Twickenham Borough Council.

For over 80 years, Twickenham Unit has provided great cadetships to thousands of young people. Today, we’re as active as ever.

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