Ex-cadets ‘ahoy’ call

PUBLISHED: 09:29 06 November 2010

A YOUTH organisation connected to the sea is searching for past members to help build up a picture of now and then.

Sea Cadets charity records show that over the last 70 years almost one million people have been a cadet at some point – one person in 60 of the UK population, and the charity wants to reconnect with them.

Over the years the charity has seen some famous names including Sean Connery, Paul O’Grady, Dan Snow, former deputy prime minister John Prescott, jazz musician Kenny Ball and actor Paul Bethany.

The charity was set up in 1854.

Sea Cadets is driven by the support of the Royal Navy and the 8,500 volunteers who help inspire and train young cadets each week. Volunteering is for many a real vocation, but it is often claimed that Sea Cadets is one of the country’s best kept secrets.

Across the UK, 14,000 young people aged between 10 and 18 get involved in Sea Cadet activities, learning life skills like leadership and team working via challenging adventure activities on a naval theme. They can earn extra qualifications too which can boost confidence and give them a head start in life. This is only possible with the incredible support of volunteers who use their own skills, knowledge and experience to guide, coach and encourage the next generation.

The Sea Cadets date back to the Crimean War when sailors returning home from the campaign formed Naval Lads’ Brigades to help orphans, created by the conflict, many of whom ended up on the back streets of sea ports. The first brigade was established at Whitstable in 1854.

By 1899, Sea Cadets received Royal recognition when Queen Victoria presented the Windsor unit with £10 for uniforms – an event now known as the birthday of the Sea Cadets, celebrated on June 25.

Former Sea Cadets can get in touch with the charity by visiting the website, emailing us at or call: 020 7654 7000 or write to us at: I was a former Sea Cadet, MSSC, 202 Lambeth Road, London SE1 7JW.

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