See also

New National website at



In Australia since 1901 there have been various titles for the Navy Sea Cadets:

Boys Naval Brigades (Victoria) 1901-1911
Australian Navy Cadets 1907-1939
Navy League Sea Cadet Corps NLSCC (1920- 1950)
RANR Cadets 1950-1973 (Defence)
Australian Sea Cadet Corps ASCC (1950-1972)
(1973- Navy League and Defence cadets merged into one unit, the NRC)
Naval Reserve Cadets NRC (1972-2002) (Defence)
Australian Navy Cadets ANC (2002 - ) (Defence)

Federal Council

Her Excellency Ms Quentin Bryce AC
Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia

The Navy League was established in Australia in November 1900, initially in the form of small branches of the United Kingdom Navy League (established 1895) and since 1950 as an autonomous national body headed by an Australian Federal Council consisting of a Federal President and representatives of the six States, the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory as appropriate.

The Navy League was also established in New Zealand (Auckland) 20 January 1896 and later at Wellington 14 March 1904. The United States of America adopted the US Navy League Sea Cadets in 1902. Other countries with branches of the Navy League were in South Africa, India, Canada, Hong Kong, all parts of the British Empire in the early 1900s except the USA.

The Navy League of Australia has, since the turn of the century, sought to sway public opinion and governments to understand the need for Australia to address strategic maritime issues, specifically trade and maritime defence issues. Over the years the Navy League has drawn to the attention of govermnent the vital need for strong naval and maritime air forces in order to secure the sovereignty of the nation including its vital imports and exports.

The Navy League of Australia is now one of a number of independent Navy Leagues formed in countries of the free world to influence public thinking on maritime matters and create interest in all aspects of the sea environment and our use of it for recreation, food, trade and defence.
The League also takes an interest in and supports the 14-18 year old Naval Reserve Cadet Corps (NRC) which train the community's young people in the love of the sea, instilling in them such personal disciplines as is possible through naval and maritime oriented pursuits.
The cadets from 1973 were sponsored by the Royal Australian Navy (but from 1920 to 1972 were sponsored by the Navy League and called the Navy League Sea Cadet Companies (later Corps) (NLSCC) up to 1949 then from 1950 the Australian Sea Cadet Corps (ASCC).

The Navy League of Australia cordially invites you to join us in what we believe to be an important national and international task.


Awarded & presented by Chief of Navy on behalf of the Navy League of Australia.

(A) NAVY LEAGUE OF AUSTRALIA - Control & Admin. Period 1930 - 1972
(click on each state to go to the Cadet unit details)


A special joint subcommittee comprising the Director of Naval Reserves, CMDR Neil Bowes, Federal President of NLA, John Howse, & Fed V-Pres. NLA, CMDR F.Geoffrey Evans, investigated all Australian units in the late 1960s. In consultation with the joint RAN/NLA "Sea Cadet Council" they recommended to the Naval Board that the cadets forming NLAs 2500+ strong 14-18 year old 'Australian Sea Cadet Corps' (ASCC) become part of a new Royal Australian Navy "Naval Reserve Cadets" organisation to be formed by the Government. In January 1973 the Navy League of Australia (NLA) transferred all cadets to the RAN's new NRC. The Navy League's ASCC continued and Western Australia Division of Navy League continued with cadets in the under 14 age bracket, after which they may elect to join the NRC on reaching the age of 14. This organisation ceased to operate c2002.




SEA CADETS 1920 - 2000

History of its Beginnings and Spread World Wide

The Navy League's Australian Sea Cadet Corps ASCC 1920 - 1972.
The Australian Naval Cadet Corps ANCC 1907- 1929
NLSCC - History during the 1939-45 World War
Naval Reserve Cadets NRC 1973 - 31 March 2001
Australian Navy Cadets 1st April 2001 -

Navy League Sea Cadet Corps' History

by CMDR John M Wilkins RFD* RANR Ret'd
© Copyright: John M Wilkins RFD* May 2000.

The (UK) Sea Cadets are a uniformed, disciplined youth movement based upon the customs and traditions of the Royal Navy.
To help young people towards responsible adulthood by encouraging valuable personal attributes and high standards of conduct using a nautical theme based on Naval customs. The oldest and most enduring youth organization in the World and Great Britain, is the Sea Cadet Corps.
This Corps can trace its heritage back to the Crimean War, when, in 1856, sailors returning home from the campaign set up "Naval Lads Brigades" to give orphans and disadvantaged youngsters a taste of self discipline and leadership.
These origins can be traced back to the Kent port of Whitstable where the first of the Naval Lads Brigades was established.
So successful were the British Brigades in helping disadvantaged youth that the Navy League, a national organisation with a membership of a quarter of a million dedicated to supporting the Royal Navy, adopted them in 1910.
Four years later (1914) with sponsorship of the Admiralty, the Sea Cadet Corps was formed. Sea Cadets served with distinction in both world wars - From those early beginnings in the backstreets of Britain's seaports grew the Sea Cadets, now a 16000 strong youth movement with 400 units the length and breadth of England.

Based on maritime traditions the Corps, having become independent in 1910 under the auspices of the Navy League and then the fully-fledged Navy League Sea Cadet Corps nine years later after World War 1, pledged to uphold Britannia's naval heritage.
In the Second World War, the Corps provided communicators for the Fleet, with their Units receiving a "bounty" for every trained signalman who went to sea. They were known as "Bounty Boys".
And tradition lives on. Sea Cadet officers still wear the wavy lace insignia of the wartime Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve - heroes of the battle of the Atlantic. Although sponsored by the Royal Navy, the Corps is also supported by its own national charity, the Sea Cadet Association which raises funds for the Corps and maintains the Sea Cadet fleet including the Corps' flagship, the square rigged brig 'Royalist'.
In late 1944 the age limit was changed to allow for lads up to their 18th birthday to serve in the UK cadets. Prior to this they were retained up until their 17th birthday. This change had some qualifications:
The CO desired to retain them.
Passed Examination for Cadet PO or Cadet Leading Seaman.
If Cadet Seaman must have served not less than one year in the Corps.
Be accepted for the Admiralty "Y" scheme Reserve.
Not adversely affect recruitment of younger boys.
Cadets who attain 18th birthday are supernumeraries, additional to both establishment and strength - not eligible for capitation or proficiency grants unless they are "Y" Scheme Reservists.
In late 1944 the Navy League Gallantry Cross was awarded to three UK Cadets, Kenneth Seavers from TS York; LS Kenneth Gamble from TS Stockton-on-Tees and Cadet V. Stead from TS Whitby.

In 1976, the Navy League became the Sea Cadet Association (SCA), the parent charity which raises funds to support the Corps and provide the educational and adventure facilities for the cadets, including traditional sail training aboard the Corps' own flagship, the square rigged brig TS ROYALIST.
Cadets also experience hands-on sea duty aboard Royal Navy ships. Under the umbrella of the SCA, each Sea Cadet Unit is an independent charity in its own right, staffed by volunteer officers and senior ratings holding Sea Cadet ranks under the auspices of the Royal Naval Reserve. Boys and girls aged 12 to 18 years are welcomed into the cadet ranks and wear traditional Royal Navy uniforms.
Junior sections cater for the 10 to 12 age group, whilst the Royal Marine Detachments for boys aged 13 to 18 have also been introduced to complete the nautical mix, and thus offer a broad range of interest and activities.
The Corps Today (2000 AD)
Although supported and partly funded by the Royal Navy, the UK Sea Cadet Corps is not a pre-service organization, and training programs undertaken by cadets, basic seamanship and nautical skills, also offers recognized qualifications in subjects such as electrical and mechanical engineering, computers, communications and catering which stand the cadets in good stead whatever career they pursue. Each Sea Cadet Unit has developed close ties with the local community, cemented through a Management Committee, which works alongside the Unit's Commanding Officer to provide a worthwhile programme of activities and spearhead fund raising initiatives at local level.
Into the Future Looking forward to the Millennium and beyond, the British Sea Cadets are rising to a new and exciting challenge, carrying forward the time-honoured image of a maritime nation onto the international stage, forging links with like minded nautical youth training movements around the globe through the newly formed International Sea Cadet Association (ISCA).
"Encouraging good citizenship and mutual understanding among young people through nautical training world-wide"
is the ISCA slogan and with a total membership of over 2500 000 cadets, a truly global investment for the future.

CADET UNITS (Partial listing only)
UK Sea Cadet Corps (1944)
TS Aberdeen TS Acton TS Battleaxe TS Bebbington TS Birkenhead TS Braintree TS Brentwood TS Chelmsford TS Chingford TS City of Bath Boys' School TS Clacton TS Colchester TS Dagenham TS Ellesmere Port TS Essex TS Falmouth - TS Farnworth TS Holylake TS Kearsley TS Merthyr - second anniversary in December 1944. TS Romford TS ROYALIST square rigged brig TS Southend - 48 cadets obtained their RNVR Commissions, eleven in 1944. TS St Clement Danes - 1000 cadets passed through the Unit before September 1939, the outbreak of the 1939-45 war. Their headquarters were within the area where 7 Nazi flying bombs fell, one slightly damaging their building. TS Stockton-on-Tees Unit TS Stoke-Newington TS Tunbridge Wells TS Wallasey TS Whitby Unit TS Winchmore Hill TS Wirral TS Wood Green TS York
- New Zealand had become a Dominion in 1907. For many years New Zealand paid an annual sum to the Admiralty as its share towards Naval Defence. The Navy League Branches in New Zealand had formed (4) Sea Cadet Corps Units . TS Wellington TS Canterbury - formed at Christchurch in 1928 by the Navy League Canterbury (New Zealand) Branch. This branch also secured Quail Island in Lyttelton Harbour as a residential and training camp for Sea Cadets in the New Zealand Dominion. TS Waireka - at Dunedin TS Auckland
1952 - Plans announced to expand the Sea Cadet system in New Zealand. The New Zealand Minister of Defence, the Hon. T.L. Macdonald, announced that New Zealand Naval Board will give more help in training Sea Cadet Corps, which is organised by the New Zealand Navy League. They will issue free uniforms to all officers and cadets and they plan, with the co-operation of headmasters, to establish Sea Cadet units in 15 secondary schools in the four main centres. This has been decided, after a successful experiment in three Auckland schools.
Sub-Lieutenant L. F. Luxton, R.N.Z.N.V.R. (Sp.) comments about the RNZN:-
New Zealand's past is rich in naval history. Names like Cook, Hobson, Jellicoe, Scott and Sanders V.C., are a part of their tradition. The Royal New Zealand Navy is administered by a Navy Board from the capital. Wellington. Because the Service is so young and has few senior officers, most of the senior posts are held by officers on loan from the Royal Navy. Under the Naval Board are the Various Staff Officers in charge of departments, as the Director of Reserves and Mobilisation. NZ seagoing forces-" The New Zealand Squadron " consists of two light cruisers of the " Dido " class, Bellona and Black Prince, both of which are loaned by the Admiralty though manned chiefly by New Zealanders. There are six frigates of the "Loch" class which have been renamed after New Zealand lakes. Two frigates have been serving in Korean waters since soon after the commencement of hostilities, where they do a 12 months' tour of duty. There are six AIS trawlers, two New Zealand built minesweepers and-a recent addition-four new sweepers, which are a present from the Australian Government. This gift was much appreciated by New Zealand. There are, of course. other smaller craft and New Zealand has also a Survey Ship of 1,420 tons. Then there are the shore establishments, including the new entry training establishment, H.M.N.Z.S. Tamaki on Motuihe Island, Auckland, where Sea Cadets take one of their annual courses.
There are four R.N.Z.N.V.R. Divisions, one in each of the four main cities, Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin. Practically all advanced training is carried out in Australia or the United Kingdom and cadets and midshipmen are also sent to Naval Colleges in these countries. New Zealand has a small Naval Reserve, a Volunteer Supplementary Reserve and a Women's Royal New Zealand Naval Service. They have a wide range of responsibilities. The boundaries of the Station border the Equator in the North and the shores of Antarctica in the South. . Last year they even ran a coal mine during industrial trouble, but, just as in the Royal Navy, " it's all in the day's work."

Federated the six previous colonies formed between 1788 and 1900 to form the Australian Commonwealth in 1901.
Before this happened Tasmania formed the first Navy League Branch in Australia in November 1900. From this beginning the Navy League expanded into all States of the new Commonwealth with a Victoria Branch in 1916, NSW Branch in November 1918. Within eighteen months NSW Branch had the honour of starting Australia's first Australian Sea Cadet Corps (ASCC) with the formation of the Balmain Company in 1920. At the same time the NSW branch started the world's third only Navy League Journal following the lead of England and Canada.
Lieut. (E) J.G. Shillington RN who was serving in Sydney towards the end of the 1939-45 war (in the first half of 1945) commented about the navy league and the Sea Cadets "The ACNB did little more than recognise the existence of the Navy League Sea Cadets, although more interest was starting to be shown. The ACNB allows the 7 NSW, 4 Victorian & one or two in South Australian Navy League Sea Cadet Units to buy boats, when available. The seventh NSW NLSCC Unit was located at Orange, a small country town of about 15,000 inhabitants, 150 miles inland. Of the four units in Victoria two are in Melbourne and two in other towns. All Units in NSW parade on Saturday afternoons with usually an evening parade on Wednesday or Thursday as well. The Units are known by the name of their depot, which they wear on their cap ribbon, prefaced by the letters "NLTD" (Navy League Training Depot). All are named after RAN and RN Ships, past and present; Australia, Canberra, Endeavour, Perth, Sirius, Victory and Warrego." (He makes no mention of TS Sydney?). "At the beginning of 1946, owing to the war and the lack of assistance from the ACNB, the Corps was very badly off for officers and equipment, and hence was low in strength. Most officers had left, either going into the Services or doing other war work. Of the officers who remained most were ex-cadets who had been promoted to fill the vacancies; about two-thirds of the officers in the Corps were under 23, many being much less. Boats and similar gear were, of course, unobtainable and the average strength of units at this time was about thirty or forty. Now, however, things are looking up; officers are being released from the Services and gear is beginning to come through. When the Navy League (NSW) Committee heard that I was to be in Sydney for some months, they asked me to help them rebuild the Corps on Service Lines, and as nearly as possible on the same basis as the Corps in England. For this I was appointed Training Officer on the staff of the Sea Cadet Commander, who was the Senior Officer of the Corps. This was a spare-time job - there are no whole-time officers in the Corps in Australia. One of the main problems was that most of the officers and instructors had no sea or naval experience. Textbooks and training manuals were difficult to get, and there was no comprehensive set of orders governing the details of running the Corps. We dealt with these matters first, as they were necessary before we could start to build up the Corps to its old strength of about 600 cadets in Sydney alone. Classes were arranged for officers (intended for the younger ones promoted from the Cadets), CPOs and POs; we tried to give them a naval background, and help them with power of command and instructional techniques - a formidable task, successful only because of the enthusiasm of most of the young officers. The existing rules and regulations were extended and altered to bring them up to date, and in accordance with the practice at home. The training syllabus is now exactly the same as the British one, and the uniform and advanced regulations are very similar to those in force in England. In order to get over the lack of drill books, I had the relevant sections of the Field Training manual typed out and duplicated. It ran to twenty-eight foolscap pages in all and took one man a week to do! Notes were prepared and distributed on such subjects as Leadership, Training, and How to Instruct. I was not able to arrange gunnery instruction, which I would have liked to do, as it was first necessary to concentrate on the simplest aspects of training. Between January and May (when I left) cadets in Sydney has a fairly full programme of ceremonial. They took part in two displays, the larger one at the Sydney Sports ground, before about 30,000 people. The Sea Cadets were the smartest drilled contingent in this grand parade of Sydney's youth, although they did not provide an individual turn afterwards, as did some of the other organsiations. The Cadets lined part of Martin Place, near the Cenotaph, for Australia's National Remembrance Ceremony, the Anzac Day March. All the ex-Service men of the World Wars marched in this parade, and the column marched twelve across, and took two and a half hours to pass. This march is held every year on 25th April, the anniversary of the landing of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) at Gallipoli in 1915. A parade of 3,000 members of youth organisations through the centre of Sydney included the Sea Cadets contingent headed by the drum band of NLTD Australia. In addition to these large parades, cadets took part in several smaller ones, including tow church parades. During January a party of cadets visited HMS Anson (in which I was serving at the time) and were shown around and given tea on board. I have heard since that the cadets were invited to form part of the naval contingent in Sydney's Victory Day parade."
Comment: The Defence Department did not restart its Cadets until January 1950 when the RANR was restarted after a 4 year moratorium. The Navy League cadets never stopped although their numbers had dwindedled as Shillington's comments indicate. The cadets were names RANR Cadets and they remained with that title until Jabuary 1973 when the new Naval Reserve Cadets were formed from the combining of the huge number of Navy League Cadets with the 200 plus RANR Cadets.
Brisbane - Reported that the Merchant Service was training Sea Cadets in Brisbane in 1945.


The Navy League of Australia listed the following Sea Cadet Training Ships in the 1951 Presidential report :

New South Wales: T.S. Australia at Lavender Bay ; T.S. Warrego at Woolwich ; T.S. Perth at Manly; T.S. Sirius at George River; T.S. Beatty at Woollongong. T.S. Sydney at Snapper Island, Sydney Harbour affiliated to the New South Wales Division.

Victoria: Six units: T.S. Melbourne at Port Melbourne; T.S. Cerberus at Black Rock; T.S. Anzac at Footscray Technical School; T.S. Lightning at Geelong; T.S. Henty at Portland; T.S. Avalon at Geelong Grammar School.

Tasmania: T.S. Hobart of Hobart and Burnie.

October 1949. An article was publiched on Australia's "Ship on an Island", the Sea Cadet training establishment on Snapper Island, one of the westernmost islands in Sydney Harbour. Commenting in an article on the first H.M.A.S. Sydney which appeared in The Navy magazine, Sub-Lieutenant John H. O'Connell wrote that the Sydney Training Depot is a " living " memorial to H.M.A.S. Sydney. Here, in his own words, is the history of T.S. Sydney.
"Founded in 1928 by Commander (S.C.) L. E. Forsythe, on the shore of Iron Cove as a memorial to H.M.A.S. Sydney." (O'Connell is not correct about this detail as TS Sydney started out as the Navy League of NSW's Drummoyne Company formed in 1922, the third unit to be formed in Australia, which in the late 1920s adopted the name for its training depot, 'Sydney', as a memorial to HMAS Sydney just before it moved to Snapper Island. See separate history of TS Sydney for details.- JMW). "This unit of the Navy League Sea Cadets transferred in 1931 to Snapper Island, a cruiser-sized outcrop of rock in the harbour. In the 20 years which have elapsed the cadets, with the inspiration and assistance of Sea Cadet Commander Forsythe, built the finest Sea Cadet Headquarters in the British Commonwealth. The depot houses many relics of H.M.A.S. Sydney, Tread Plate, Telemotor, Telegraphs, and even Topmast. There are relics of other ships ranging from the bath tub from H.M.A.S. Anzac 1, to the survey cutter Silvio, once carried by H.M.A.S. Moresby (ex-H.M.S. Silvio). "Almost 3,000 Sea Cadets have been trained here through the years, and it is only within the last 12 months that any assistance has been given by the Navy. (This assistance is still limited to the issue of uniforms and a limited quantity of instructional equipment.) The depot now comprises the T.S. Sydney, unit of the Australian Sea Cadet Corps and also the headquarters of' the New South Wales division of the Corps. Also established here is a unit of the G.N.T.C."
1952 -
Canadian, Australian and New Zealand Cadets went to England for the Commonwealth Course in HMS Osprey. They attended a reception by her Majesty the Queen, where they met Admiral Sir Louis Hamilton- Chairman of the Navy League. Later they met Mr J.P.L.Thomas First Lord of the Admiralty at their Empire camp where they were attending their Commonwealth Sea Cadet training Course. He was accompanied by Capt (E) J.W. Bull representing the Australian High Commissioner (HC), Mr F Hudd H.C. for Canada, Mr F.W. Doidge HC for new Zealand, Vice-Admiral Sir Gilbert Stephenson KBE CB CMG DL RN, Maj-General T.N.F. Wilson CB DSO MC, and Captain A.D.H. Jay DSO DSC RN representing Admiral Commanding Reserves, Executives from Portland Naval Base and many other officers including Captain-in-Charge Captain S.J. Boord and Captain J.B. Frewen of the Osprey - all of whom were most enthusiastic about the course. Later the cadets had the opportunity to visit many scenic and historic places of interest.

News of the Sea Cadet Corps in India 1952.
The Commanding Officer of the Corps in Bombay, Rao Sahib G.S. Ahuja. They had two inspections, one by His Excellency Raja Mahraj Singh, the Governor of Bombay and another by Rear Admiral N. V. Dickinson, D.S.O., D.S.C., Flag Officer (Flotilla) Indian Fleet. We shall hope soon to reproduce these photographs in the magazine. Meanwhile here are extracts from Admiral Parry's address to the cadets, after the farewell parade which was held in his honour in September last at the Castle Barracks, Bombay: - "I think the thing that pleases me most about your body here is that you come here voluntarily. You are here not because you have got to do it but because you want to do it, and that is one thing I should like to see here in India- people wanting to do things on the sea, and taking a real interest in the sea. It is tremendously important to India that as many people as possible should be keen about it. "You must not forget that everything that comes into India-whether it is food or oil or anything else comes in ships. Everything that leaves India goes in ships. . . . "You chaps are setting a jolly good example. . . . I should like to see some of you join the Navy or go to sea in some shape or form. "I do congratulate you, Mr. Ahuja, on the start you have made and I hope a lot more boys will join you. Good luck to you all." His Excellency the Governor of Bombay also addressed the cadets after inspecting them in May last. He remarked on their smart and happy appearance and said that a man who does his work and enjoys it should go a long way to making a " good man and a good officer." He told them--" I have had the pleasure of meeting some of your old boys. Two of them are holding high pests in the Scindia Steamship Company, and I have no doubt that many of you will also do well in your after life." After he had congratulated the officers and men for their smart appearance on parade, His Excellency announced a gift of 300 rupees to be spent at the discretion of the Commanding Officer and Commodore R. M. T. Taylor, R.N., Commodore-in-Charge Bombay and Honorary Patron of the Corps, on a trophy or challenge cup for the Corps. His Excellency ended his speech with a compliment to the excellent Sea Cadet band, " which I have had the pleasure of hearing on more than one occasion," and he praised them on their earlier rendering of the National Anthem.

Parts of Canada became a Dominion in 1867. The first Canadian Branch, of the British Navy League, was formed at Toronto, Ontario (very much an inland city, although on the Great Lakes) in December, 1895, being the 5th Branch in the Empire. At the time there was no Canadian Navy, as it was not established until May, 1910. So the League was active on 2 fronts: support for a strong Royal Navy, in various forms, and in urging the Canadian Government to establish a Canadian Navy. At the time, no Sea Cadets, although youth were to be encouraged to "follow the sea", i.e. in a modestly flourishing Merchant Marine, or by joining the RN. Other Branches were formed, in Montreal, Vancouver, Victoria (in 1901), Quebec City and elsewhere, but tended not to last, only being re-activated with the onset of war in 1914. However in 1904 there were 11 Branches in the Dominion, but only 3 "had attempted to do any active work." The first of the reasonably documented youth operations, and only boys at that, was possibly in 1902 when the Canadian Branch of the Boys Naval Brigade was possibly formed, copying the British Boys Naval Brigades. But then again, later the BNB group refers to being started in 1917 in a Toronto church basement, as does later NLC (Navy League of Canada) publications of the day! All quite vague. Decisions to offer moral, and sometimes financial support for the BNB was strictly local, voluntary and unofficial.
The Navy League IN Canada was replaced in June, 1917 by The Navy League OF Canada, a body corporate in its own right, with headquarters in Montreal, who had a very active Branch from before the war.
The NLC then offered to subsidise the local Boys Naval Brigades in 1918. There were, evidently although not officially, cadets being supported by Branches on an ad hoc and local basis by 1920 or so - certainly in British Columbia... probably of the Boys Naval Brigades, which did not come under NLC management or direction. In 1924 the already existing BNBs supported by Barnches were arranged to be re-titled Navy League Sea Cadet Corps.
That year there were reported 19 Corps, some with "names" such as HMS LION and HMS VICTORY, others with titles: "HMS Boy Travers Cornwall" (in Winnipeg - still existing!), "White Ensign" and "Captain Vancouver" They had, reportedly, 1,416 member Cadets, although this may have included instructors and commanders. So, in reality and officially, these were the first Corps and 1924 the first OFFICIAL Sea Cadet Corps date.
However all the above and still existing corps object to this, saying "they were in existence much earlier!!" It's all a bit shady and not officially recorded, except by occasional side notes in early annual meetings of Branches, and then the NLC. Detailed (i.e. Naval!) record-keeping seems not to have been a strong point. After the 2nd War, a parallel series of girls Corps were established, the Wrennettes, by 1954.
Also in the 1950s the Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Corps became that in name, and a junior series of Corps, for youngsters 10 to 13 were formed where wanted by Divisional (i.e.) Provincial commands, these being, and still are our Navy League Cadets. Currently the Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Corps are administered, trained and financed jointly by the League and our Department of National Defence; they include as absolute equals boys and girls, ages 13 to 18.
The officers hold commissions in the Reserves, but on a special "List" of Cadet Officers, with their Army and Air force counterparts.
The League manages entirely on its own the Navy League Cadets, also now boys and girls, ages 9 to 13. There is no direct link between the Sea Cadets and DND service, although they very much dictate policy, issue all training manuals, provide for Camps, etc. And sadly and rather surprisingly, very little connection between the RCSCC and the Naval Reserves. While they come under a single Reg. Force Senior Officer, thereafter there is little connection officially, although often there is at the local level, where Corps and Reserves often share the same buildings. Canadian Sea Cadets were publishing their Sea Cadet Log in January 1946.

UNION OF SOUTH AFRICA was formed in 1907 as a result of the 1899-1902 civil war

- East AFrica TS Salisbury - formed in 1936. "In 1944 the Government suddenly became aware of its value and its sister unit TS Bulawayo. The TS Salisbury Unit was incorporated into the Southern Rhodesia Defence Force as the "1st Division, Southern Rhodesian Sea Cadet Corps".
In 1950 the unit was re-organised into a semi-territorial Unit under the command of Lieutenant S.W. Burn RNVR and is now run on the lines of a Royal Navy Ship's Company, with strict service discipline and routine. The units Training Ship Mashona has been redecorated by the ship's company. The cadets receive their practical seamanship training during the weekend camps at Mazoe Dam, where brick-built mess decks have been provided for them. They had a fleet of one Admiralty Whaler, two Sharpie yachts and a Dinghy and a Sun Class yacht. In July 1951 ten cadet joined HMS Bermuda, flagship of C-I-C South Atlantic, for a three weeks training cruise from Durban to Lourenco Marques. The cadets who were on this cruise were later given permission by Admiral Sir Herbert Packer KCB to wear the HMS Bermuda cap ribbon as a mark of his appreciation.
The TS Mashona ship's complement was increased to allow for two officers and 60 ratings, but at present their strength is one officer and 59 ratings. In view of the fact that a senior cadet, on reaching the age of 19, may now join the Territorial Armed Force for his National Service, and then be seconded to the Sea cadet Unit for further training, there is an added incentive for cadets to take a long-term view of their service in the unit. Only four cadets enjoy this privilege at present. A further advantage is that they will probably be required to go to sea for at least three weeks each year."

  • HISTORY IN the UK & AUSTRALIA during the 1939-45 World War

When H.M. The King became Admiral of 'The Navy League Sea Cadet Corps'
The Navy League Journal March 1943 p3

Large numbers of the youth of the country and of the Dominions overseas have a love of the sea in their hearts, and from its inception, in 1896, the Navy League endeavoured to educate youth in what the sea means to the British Empire, and to assist those boys who wished to join the Royal Navy or Mercantile Marine. At that time few organisations existed for those high-spirited youngsters who enjoyed little discipline or moral training, especially after leaving school at the age of 14 years, and the Committee of the Navy League were disturbed at the lack of provision of a reserve of seamen for the Royal Navy, and at the dwindling proportion of British seamen in British merchant ships.
As a start, therefore, a Sea Training Home" was established at Liverpool: this is still in existence. In the same year (1900) the Windsor and Eton Branch of the Navy League established a training ship on the Thames, and eight years later another training ship was started by the Reading Branch. It was from these small beginnings that the Navy League Sea Cadet Corps grew, until, in 1910, the annual Trafalgar Day appeal was launched and the various Boys' Naval-Training Brigades working under the auspices of different branches were reorganised and the several units were affiliated to the Navy League.
The urge to form a Unit came in most cases from those who had already formed themselves into a local Branch of the Navy League; in other cases, in places where no Branch existed, from prominent local residents, who had at heart the interests of the country and the welfare of the boys. By 1914 there were twenty-seven Boys' Naval Brigades affiliated to the Navy League and three Navy League training brigs. The movement having been established on sure foundations, Admiralty recognition was sought and readily granted, on 14th January, 1919, to the thirty-four Navy League Naval Brigades, provided the unit passed an inspection by an officer detailed by the Admiral Commanding Reserves.
The name "Navy League Sea Cadet Corps" was then formally adopted. Each Sea Cadet Corps was administered by a local committee who accepted responsibility for providing financial support; conducted the unit in accordance with the Regulations laid down; and rendered an annual statement of accounts to the Headquarters or the Navy League. Units, especially those in the poor districts, received regular financial assistance from Navy League Funds, and special grants were also made to meet the casual requirements of any unit which met unexpected calls on its finances. On receipt of official recognition from the Admiralty each Corps was granted stores from naval sources (if available) to the value of 50 and a capitation grant of 3s. 6d. for the number of boys between the ages of 12 and 18 present at the annual inspection.
The officers were granted Navy League Sea Cadet Commissions, and their names figured in the Official Navy List. Naval uniform, authorised by Admiralty, was provided for the Cadets by Navy League funds; but it was a general rule that no boy received uniform until he had proved himself worthy of the honour - usually after about three months. Authority was also given for a Sea Cadet Corps Banner - the Union Flag, defaced with the Badge of the Navy League.
Patriotic men, with some knowledge of the sea - and a wish to help youth, voluntarily gave their services and their leisure to act as officers and instructors. No praise is too high for their splendid work, and a debt of gratitude is due also to those who carried on under difficult conditions and, during the fifteen years which preceded the present war, not only with lack of encouragement from the public, but often against actual opposition from local bodies and societies whose dislike of "uniform" and any form of drill and discipline over-rode any desire for the "moral social and physical training of boys," which was one of the main objectives of the movement at that time.
For two years, from 1925-27, the small capitation grant was withdrawn. Criticism and opposition did not, however, discourage the Sea Cadets. With the loyal help of the local Committees, the officers of the Sea Cadet Corps and, most important of all, the boys themselves, the movement grew steadily in strength and efficiency. The value of the discipline and training was fully appreciated by the Police who kept in touch with Commanding Officers thereby benefiting many a boy who was good at heart, but was drifting into bad company. Navy League Sea Cadet Corps were also formed in the overseas Dominions and in Southern Rhodesia. and although these Corps did not enjoy exactly the same official recognition and financial assistance as those in Great Britain, they were organised on similar lines to those of the parent Navy League, and they flourished with the help given by local Committees and a degree of recognition from the Dominion Governments which varied in each country. Owing to the untiring energy and enthusiasm of the late Lord Lloyd the sea Cadet Corps made rapid strides in numbers and efficiency after he assumed the Presidency of the Navy League in 1930.
By 1939 the number of Sea Cadet Corps in the United Kingdom had nearly reached the hundred mark; this being the maximum then authorised to receive Admiralty recognition. The Cadets numbered about 9,000.
The outbreak of war came as a great blow to the Sea Cadet Corps, because owing to the recent consolidation and expansion a steady flow of officers and instructors was essential, instead of which many officers and ratings were recalled to naval service. Deprived of many of their officers and with those remaining over-worked, faced with problems of accommodation which in many cases had been commandeered by the Army, it is not surprising that some units closed down. Winded, but with heart and lungs still sound, the vitality of the Sea Cadet Corps soon reasserted itself. Fresh accommodation, of a sort, was found and fresh officers and instructors enlisted.
Cadets were, with marked success, promoted to officer's rank. A certain London, unit compelled to close down for some months, was revived by two Cadets, both under the age of 18, and at a subsequent Admiralty inspection the unit received special praise. Such a spirit could not but triumph over difficulties, and by January, 1940, the tide turned. All but two units were in full operation, but, recruits had often to be refused owing to lack of accommodation.
A valuable step taken by the Navy League was the opening of establishments for the training of signalmen for the Royal Navy. The "Bounty," an old Bristol Channel sailing ship, was purchased and another establishment opened at Slough.
In December, 1940, at a conference at the Admiralty, the assistance of the Navy League was sought to meet a demand for Signalmen and Telegraphists. The Navy League undertook to supply some four hundred partly-trained boys annually. So successful was this "Bounty" scheme that it was suggested the number should be very largely increased. It was just not possible to do this without some financial assistance, and official backing to overcome the difficulty of obtaining uniforms, equipment and accommodation.
The following arrangements were, therefore, made, and came into force on 1st February, 1942. The Admiralty assumed control of the training of the boys; appointed salaried Area officers; granted temporary, unpaid RNVR Commissions to the Sea Cadet officers; and provided the following: - uniforms for boys between 14 and 17; uniform grant for officers ; naval stores, if available; an equipment grant of 25 for each unit and an annual capitation grant of 12s. for boys of 14 to 17, and 3s. 6d. for younger boys; 14 capitation grant for each "Bounty" entrant.
The Administration of the movement was left in the hands of the Navy League and of Local Committees. Courses for Sea Cadet officers; PT Courses for selected cadets; and Summer Camps at which instructional courses were held, were also arranged by the Admiralty. It is probable that this 'Bounty" Scheme will be still be further extended.
Owing to the number of applicants to join the Sea Cadets being greatly in excess of the numbers that are required, a high standard is achieved. The aim is efficiency rather than numbers. Owing partly to the limited number of-competent officers and instructors available at a this time and partly to the undesirability of "raising false hopes of a sea career to all, the present maximum number aimed at is 50,000.
It has also been found desirable to limit the number of units, and to concentrate on centres equally distributed throughout the country, rather than to have an unlimited number of very small units. Efficient instruction is impossible if the unit is too small, and experience has shown that a boy who is keen will willingly travel by bicycle or bus for some miles to attend his drills. The wearing of uniform by officers or cadets is prohibited except when actually at instruction or on parade, or when going to and fro. The Sea Cadet Corps has been, and is still, organised and operates quite separately from the cadets normal home life, employment or school; but this does not imply that ordinary education is ignored.
An Education Liaison officer is attached to each unit, not for the purpose of giving continuation education to boys in uniform, but to encourage the cadets to continue their education, under the education authorities, at times when they are not employed at technical instruction. An educational standard is necessary to qualify for the "Y" Scheme, which enables Sea Cadets of 17 and above to volunteer for service in the Royal Navy, including the Fleet Air Arm, and while still remaining with their Corps to be placed on an Unpaid Reserve until required to commence regular training.
This brief account of the aims and objects of the Sea Cadet Corps can best be concluded by quoting an extract from a letter written by the late Lord Lloyd, President of the Navy League, shortly before his lamented death in 1941:-

"I believe that in its system of training, its discipline, its physique, its eager recreation and practical self-control lies the secret of perfect youth training. This great organisation has proved itself in peace; it has more than justified itself in war. But its value lies in the future, too, when Victory has been achieved and we find ourselves faced with the immense task of reconstruction. Then we shall need, as perhaps never before, young men trained in habits of discipline and loyalty, and imbued with the ideals of self-sacrifice and service. In them, indeed, lies the whole future of our race. They will be found in the Sea Cadet Corps, not only in the Home Country, but in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Rhodesia; a great imperial family of which we may be proud."

Vice Admiral J.P.G. Vivian's extract of address to the Rotary Club of London - 1943 regarding the Navy League Sea Cadet Corps.

An historical survey is usual on an occasion such as this, and I cannot let you off, gentlemen, for I want to make it quite clear that the Sea Cadet Corps is no hastily conceived baby bred by war out of necessity. Far from it, for the original baby from which the present organisation is directly descended celebrates its 84th birthday this year; I found it hale and hearty when I visited it last year. The growth of that sturdy baby was slow, but it grew up and eventually gave birth to half-a-dozen children, which were somewhat weakly until in the early 1900's the Navy League appeared as a fairy godmother and, by 1941, was nourishing about 100 Navy League Sea Cadet Units, with a strength of some 11,000 Cadets. I now come to modern history.
Almost exactly one year ago, after delicate and, if I may say so, extremely amicable negotiations with the Navy League, the Admiralty took over the organisation and training of the Sea Cadet Corps and decided to expand the Corps to about 400 units, with a total of 50,O00 cades, with its officers holding commissions in the RNVR.
His Majesty the King graciously consented to become the Admiral of the Corps; thus the Navy League Sea Cadet Corps was reborn on February 1, 1942, as The Sea Cadet Corps. To-day, just a year later, there are 390 units and 49,000 cadets. Without the willing help and assistance of the Navy League, which put into this effort all its vast experience, the difficulties could hardly have been overcome.
The League now carries out the whole of the financial administration of the Cadet Corps on behalf of the Admiralty, and also is responsible for organising the welfare and social side.
As I have indicated there was no lack of boys only too anxious to join the Corps, but there was a serious difficulty in finding suitable officers and instructors. Gradually, some 1,760 devoted men have been found, who not only give their services in what would otherwise be their very exiguous leisure hours, but make opportunities to go to naval establishments to undergo officers' courses for a week or so, to rub up their knowledge of seamanship and so forth.
And what of the cadets themselves? Gentlemen, if you had had the privilege of seeing and talking to several thousands of them as I have you would, I am sure, have come to the same conclusion as I have done; the shades of that great host of seamen of the past, who gave us our heritage, can be satisfied that these boys are made of the same stuff and have the same spirit as they had in their generation. Boys can join the S.C. Unit at the age of 14; many have, in the past, joined much younger than that. Our sea history has taught us that the earlier a boy begins to learn the ways of the sea and of ships the better.
The reason is obvious; the seaman's life is one long fight with those unrelenting elements, the wind and the weather, which give no quarter to the ignorant or unhandy sailorman. That fight starts the day a boy joins his first ship, for the elements won't treat him gently because he is young and inexperienced; so it is just commonsense to see that he starts off with confidence in his ability to contend effectively with his lifelong enemies.
I had a letter only last week from a man who asked if his son, just aged 18, could join as a midshipman RNR, although he had not done the required year at sea. He would have done this twelve months had his ship not been sunk in the Atlantic four months ago. This boy had found himself in charge of a lifeboat full of survivors, and for four days and four nights he had to bring that boat through gales and storm in the North Atlantic until they were eventually picked up by a rescuing ship. No boy without very early training as a seaman could have taken on a job like that.
The function of the Sea Cadet Corps is to train boys for the Sea Services, the Royal Navy and the Merchant Navy. Many of these boys prefer the Merchant Navy. I asked one such boy, not long ago, what sort of merchant ship he would like to sail in, and he said that he was determined to go in a tanker, and his reason for that was that his father had lost his life in a tanker during the war and he wanted to take his place. That is just typical of the spirit one finds in these lads.
The ceiling of 50,000 cadets has been fixed because the annual output will then be roughly, very roughly , related to the number which the Sea Services may be expected to absorb in peace. Our aim is not confined to teaching these lads the technical side of their future profession; it goes far beyond that. We aim to produce the best type of citizen, lads with clean minds, strong bodies, mentally alert and full of leadership and initiative; boys with a sense of that esprit de corps and good discipline without which a ship's company can neither be efficient nor happy, those I two things which always go hand in hand.
Much of this training is common to the three Services; some of the technical training is also common to the three Services; so we have formed an Inter-Services Cadet Committee on which the Director of Army Cadet Force, the Director of the Air Training Corps and the Admiral Commanding Reserves sit. That Committee exists to devise methods by which we can co-operate with one another, its aim being that the only rivalry between the three Service Pre-Entry Training Corps shall be a healthy rivalry, for our ultimate object is the same - to train boys for the defence of our country and empire. Of course, in all this training we have had, considerable initial difficulties.
Equipment has been difficult to find for so many new units. Boats are hard to come by these days, but I appealed to yachtsmen to lend me dinghies in which, at any rate, boys could be taught watermanship, and I am having a very encouraging response. If any of you or your friends have small boats which would be of value to Sea Cadet Units I would ask you to lend them for the duration of the war , when I can promise that they will be returned to the owners in good condition. Suitable premises as headquarters have been a great difficulty.
I look forward to the time in the near future when every unit will have its own headquarters, its ship, or stone frigate, as the Navy terms a shore establishment. What a difference that makes! Not only .to training, but to the whole outlook of the cadet. This year we hope to get 10,000 Sea Cadets into summer camps, where they can put into practice much of what they have been taught; where they will get plenty of fresh air, good exercise, good companionship. I earnestly hope that employers will give these lads a holiday at the right time so that they can attend these camps.
I sometimes wonder if all employers are fully aware of the amount of voluntary work these boys put in after working hours. Is it not the duty of each one of us to do his part to ensure that, never again, shall this country suffer from that loss of memory? You may build ships - ships that fly, ships that float, ships that swim under the water, and fill them with all the most scientific instruments of destruction which the wit of man can invent or with all the desirable merchandise in the world, but if you haven't got the men, and good men, to man those ships, they are not much better than useless scrap iron. The Sea Cadets about whom I have talked to you to-day are those men of the near future.


From Britain, Canada, South Africa, New Zealand and other parts of the Empire come good reports of the usefulness of the Navy League Sea Cadet Corps. When His Majesty King George VI became Admiral of the Navy League Sea Cadet Corps in 1942, the Corps received its greatest honour. Never before had Royalty set its seal on the name of the Navy League; never before had the value of the Cadet Corps achievements been so highly recognised. Boys of the Navy League have distinguished themselves in all the Fighting Services and especially in the Navy and Merchant Navy. And many of these former trainees of the League have expressed in simple language their debt to the Navy League and to its voluntary officers and instructors for the great benefits of elementary training received when they were boys in the Navy League. Here in New South Wales every medically fit Sea Cadet over 17 years old is in Australia's Fighting Forces and hundreds of ex-cadets trained as boys in the years before this war are also among the free enlistments to do battle for their country. It Is a great record in ratio to the number of lads who received and benefited from early training under the auspices of the Navy League. Such training is only possible if Quarters, equipment and instructors are available, and the task of maintaining this work, which largely depends on the donations of patriotic and generous citizens, is a difficult one. The League therefore appeals to the public for additional financial help, for equipment - especially boats and oars, boxing gloves and other items used in gymnasiums. Offers of help should be addressed to the Navy League, Royal Exchange Building, Bridge Street, Sydney. The Navy League Journal of NSW (new Series) Vol.6 No.11 November 1943 p1


To those in Australia who have been associated with the Navy League for a long time, the connection between the present day Cadets and the Navy League is obvious and close; the Naval Reserve Cadets (NRC) were formed from the "old" Australian Sea Cadet Corps (ASCC) with a new name Naval Reserve Cadets (NRC) and under a new management - Royal Australian Navy instead of the Navy League. The NRC commenced operations in January 1973; time enough for hundreds of youngsters to become cadets since that time now with little or no idea of the Navy League's historic connection with their organisation. Time enough, too, for officers to assume NRC responsibilities and for new Navy League members to join the League for its wider maritime activities with scant knowledge of the part played by the League in developing the (sea) cadet movement in Australia.
Very little information exists concerning the early history of the Navy League and its sea cadets in Australia, but it is on record that a branch of the U.K.Navy League was formed in New Zealand in 1895, Launceston, Tasmania in 1900, Melbourne, Victoria 1915, Sydney NSW in 1919, and Geelong, Victoria 1932.
Navy League Cadet Training started in Australia in April 1920 by the newly formed NSW Branch of the Navy League.
After federation in 1901 the Federal Government provided for military and naval cadet training in the new 1903 Defence Act. This Act, 30 months after Federation, started the reorganisation of the various components of the Permanent Naval Forces located in the several States.
This became known as the Commonwealth Naval Forces (CNF). The Victorian Naval Brigade (VNB) and the NSW Naval Artillery Volunteers (NAV), formed the "Naval Militia", as the Citizen Naval Forces of the new CNF.
The States' detachments of the Australian Naval Cadet Corps (ANCC)(Voluntary) were only formed as the Cadet Corps of the Citizens Naval Forces (CNF) on 1st July 1907. The Navy League's Sea Cadet Corps (NLSCC) was formed in April 1920.
However CPO Kearns, recently returned from service in China under CAPT Frederick Tickell CMG CNF, formed a private Boys Sea Brigades in Williamstown's Presbyterian Church, Victoria, and with friends founded other units elsewhere in the metro[politan area and country areas. It is belkeieved that the ballarat Brugade was the result of Kearns work. These were the first and were amalaganated in 1911 in the defence department's RANR in accordance with compulsory training legislation.
Australian Navy Cadets were created in the first Defence Act 1903; and again in the Naval Defence Act 1910 and became the Militia RANR (M), Royal Australian Naval Reserve (Militia), on 1st July 1911. This was the year that King George V, in his coronation year, granted the right to the British Dominions, Canada, Australia & New Zealand to use the title 'Royal', although there had been an unofficial use of the term prior to that date.
The National Training (NT) Cadets (compulsory RANR Cadets aged 14 to 17 years) were established on 1st July 1911. The last of the Australian Naval Cadets (who were not liable for the new Universal Compulsory training) therefore ceased to exist on 5th September 1911.
The training of Navy Cadets in the initial stages was under the guidance of the Defence Department.
In addition to the formation of Australian Defence RANR Cadets, after World War 1, the main burden of providing basic sea training for volunteer 14 - 18 year-old boys between the 20th century World Wars 1 & 2 fell on the Australian branches of the U.K. Navy Leagues in Tasmania, NSW, Victoria and South Australia. The newly formed Australian Defence RANR(O) and RANR(M) cadets existed for part of that period.
The only other non-Government Naval Cadets from 1901 to 1911, in Victoria, were boys aged 10 to 14 years in the Church of England "Boys Naval Brigade" units formed under the guidance of CPO Kearns CNF, previously mentioned.
On lst. July 1911, 340 cadets of the defence department's ANCC, aged 15 to 17, plus 1660 compulsorily registered youths aged 14 to 17, were selected for naval training.
This constituted the "first intake" of the first 2000 RANR(0) cadets.
Every year, from 1st. July 1912 to November 1929, RANR Cadets on reaching 18 years of age transferred into the RANR(O) as "adult" trainees. Their places as RANR Cadets were filled by a yearly intake of 14 years old compulsory trainees throughout the Commonwealth who had volunteered for, and had been selected for, training as RANR Cadets.
For instance the 14 years old yearly "quota" for the RANR Port Melbourne Division Cadets averaged 120. Hence from July 1911 to November 1929 the Port Melbourne Division -alone - trained a minimum of 2520 RANR Cadets.
There were also RANR Divisions at Williamstown and Geelong. and RANR Sub-Divisions at Portland and Port Fairy. In NSW, the Sydney Division and the Newcastle Sub-Division. In Queensland, Brisbane Division and several coastal towns sub-divisions, and a small sub-division at Thursday Island. In Western Australia, Fremantle Division and Albany Sub-Division. Tasmania, the Hobart and Launceston Sub-Divisions.
All these divisions had RANR Cadets. Thus the approximate number of Navy trained RANR Cadets, from July 1911 to November 1929 exceeded 8,000.
In 1929, the Scullin Federal Government suspended the compulsory training of the RANR and RANR Cadets. The RANR(M) Naval Militia & Australian Naval Cadet Corps (ANCC) reverted to a voluntary basis; similar to the voluntary training that operated prior to 1st. July 1911. Thus the numbers of RANR men and Cadets became considerably reduced.

From 1st July 1907 - 5th September 1921 there was only the Australian Naval Cadet Corps (ANC) (Volunteers).
1st July 1911 - November 1929 Universal (compulsory)Training was in force.
1st July 1911 - November 1929 there were the NT (Compulsory) RANR Cadets.
November 1929 - September 1939, only a few Voluntary RANR Cadets.
For nearly 50 years, from April 1920 Australia had a Navy League Sea Cadet Corps (NLSCC). This was followed by the Royal Australian Navy NRC for the next 27years and the name reverted to its original title Australian Navy Cadets (ANC) in 1990s. The ANC-RANR defence cadets ran in parallel with the NLSCC during the period 1920 to 1939.
In 1939 RANR Cadets ceased to exist when they joined the RANR, or RANR (Hostilities Only), for service in World War Two.
July 1907 - 1940, a minimum of at least 10,000 Australian youths had been "Navy Trained" in Australian Defence's RANR Cadets, either as Voluntary or Compulsory Trainees.
1920 to the end of the 1939-1945 world war the Navy League formed 12 NLSCC companies in Victoria and NSW and South Australia. The other States formed NLSCC units after this time. In 1950 the Navy League in Australia formed its own body.
The Navy League of Australia (NLA), changed the name of its cadets to Australian Sea Cadet Corps (ASCC).
After this change the RAN joined with the NLA to form a joint board to assist Navy League Cadet training. This was the first assistance provided to the the Navy League for its NLSCC since 1920.
The ANC did not restart its training until 1950 and with the restarting of national RANR training, they were renamed RANR Cadets. By 1970 the RANR Cadets numbered about 200, the Navy League's cadets numbered about 2,000.
In 1973, by mutual agreement the RAN became the sole sponsor of the Navy League's Sea Cadet Corps and they, and the RANR Cadets, amalgamated to form the Naval Reserve Cadets (NRC).
Navy League Magazine - It was in 1920 that the NSW Branch of the UK Navy League first published a magazine that ran up until 1932 when it appears that the world wide economic depression forced its closure. It restarted its publication in April 1938 and this had continued up until the present date - a publishing record of nearly 75 years for the Navy League. It is interesting to note that the magazine in the post 1929 period up to 1932 was devoted almost entirely to Navy League Sea Cadets with some very influential members of the public being involved in the Navy League.

Royal Australian Navy Assistance
At the end of World War II, there were 12 companies (as they were called) of Australian Navy League cadets, 8 in NSW and 4 in Victoria. In addition, a similar independent group operated on Snapper Island in Sydney Harbour, TS Sydney, but this company was now not connected with the League as it appeared it had moved away from the Navy League perhaps under the guidance of Forsythe its influential leader. There were about 300 cadets at this time, wearing naval uniform, which they were allowed to purchase from naval clothing stores.
It appears that Commonwealth assistance for Navy League cadets was first seriously considered in 1946, and one of the first steps taken was to form a central Council of the independent Navy League branches to make arrangements with the Naval Board. This Council subsequently became the Federal Council of the Navy League of Australia, the branches separating from the UK parent and becoming State and Territorial Divisions of the Australian body.
Unfortunately, it was not found possible to include the Snapper Island Training Depot in the Navy League organisation, but it became affiliated with the League for the purpose of negotiating with the Naval Board.


The Naval Board accorded "recognition in principle" to the Navy League cadets in 1949 and during the next four years the Naval Defence Act was amended (in 1952) and regulations made (1954) enabling the Board to provide assistance to the Australian Sea Cadet Corps, as the UK Navy League in Australia had by then been made an Australian Company and re-named the Navy League of Australia Inc. Limited practical assistance was provided by the RAN during this period. The new regulations specified the headings under which naval assistance would be provided and in broad terms responsibility for the Navy League's ASCC was divided as follows:

Royal Australian Navy:

Composition and strength of Units.
Appointment of officers and instructors nominated by the League.
Training programmes.
Provision of uniforms, stores and equipment.
Financial assistance in the form of an allowance for officers and instructors, and a capitation fee for cadets.

Navy League:

Provision of buildings for training purposes.
Provision of facilities not provided by the Navy, eg, recreational equipment.

The regulations also provided for a Sea Cadet Council to advise the Naval Board on sea cadet matters formalising the work of a group that consisted of serving officers and members of the Navy League who had in fact been "advising" both the Navy and the League since 1950. A small sub-committee of this group was largely responsible for establishing the framework of the ASCC essentially unchanged for the next thirty years.

Under the new arrangements, the ASCC prospered. Reliable figures are hard to find but the following will provide an indication of the post World War 2 growth rates as cadets units were established by the Navy League in all States:

1948/9 430 members in 9 units (47 per unit ave.)
1953 883 members in 18 units (49 per unit ave.)
1958 1700 members in 31 units (55 per unit ave.)
1963 2502 members in 38 units (66 per unit ave.)
1998 3450 members in 75 units (46 per unit ave.)

Due largely to Treasury requirements a limit was placed on the expansion of the Corps towards the end of 1961, at which time the strength was approximately 2000 members. The limit suggested by the Director of Naval Reserves (now Director of Naval Reserves and Cadets) and accepted by the Navy League of Australia was a growth rate of 200 cadets per annum over a period of five years, the figure to be reviewed in 1966.
Two years later however, with Navy League's ASCC strength at 2500, the Sea Cadet Council decided that no further expansion should take place and that the organisation should be consolidated. In fact, during the remainder of the sixties, cadet numbers declined and eventually steadied at about 2000.
In the intervening thirty-five years the unit numbers have gradually increased but the average number of cadets per unit has fluctuated from 47, fifty years ago, to a high of 66 in Navy League days and now back to 46 today.


The growth of the Navy League's ASCC brought problems to the League in two of its main areas of responsibility -

provision of buildings for training purposes and

Nearly all the money required by the League to discharge its obligations - and large sums were involved - was raised from the general public. As a general rule people don't mind seeking, or subscribing, funds for a youth organisation but at the same time they like to see something for their money.
In one way or another the training premises were acquired (at least they could be "seen") but administrative funds were another matter. In voluntary organisations generally, "administration" seems to be a suspect word, and administrators regarded with disfavour, especially if they have to be paid; the Navy League was no exception.
A youth organisation operating on an Australia-wide basis along service lines, striving for common standards between States, between units and between cadets, needed an effective central administration but there was never enough money available to provide it. In the event, most of the essential administrative work was done by the ASCC officers themselves, particularly the State Divisional officers who managed to achieve a reasonable degree of cohesion within their own particular areas.
A further complication was caused by the basic division of responsibility between Royal Australian Navy and the Navy League of Australia, which resulted in the ASCC lacking central direction as well as sound administration. To some extent, the Sea Cadet Council formed a bridge between the Navy and the League, but it lacked executive authority and in the long run, its members were responsible only to their own organisation. Despite its legal limitations, the Sea Cadet Council played an invaluable part in the formation of the ASCC, provided guidance throughout the growth period and in preparing the way for the NRC.


Compared with the Army's School Cadets and the RAAF's Air Training Corps, the Navy League's ASCC was a very cost-effective organisation. It was however, much smaller than the other two and if it was to expand it was clear changes would have to be made.
As a result of reports submitted by the Director of Naval Reserves (DNR) to the Naval Board, and by F.G.Evans to the Sea Cadet Council, a committee of inquiry was established to report on the ASCC.
The committee consisted of the Director (Captain Neil Boase, RAN), the Federal Vice-President of the Navy League (Commander John Howse, RANR) and the writer, and after visiting all States to confer with local Navy Leagues made a number of recommendations to the Sea Cadet Council and after much discussion the Council "advised" the Naval Board and the Navy League that the Commonwealth should accept financial responsibility for the ASCC.
The advice was accepted and in February, 1971, the Minister for the Navy (Mr D. J. Killen) introduced a Bill in the House of Representatives to amend the Naval Defence Act.
The purpose of the 1971 Bill was to repeal the separate sections of the Act relating to RANR cadets and to fuse the Navy League's Australian Sea Cadet Corps (ASCC) with them into a single organisation to be called "Naval Reserve Cadets (NRC)".
At the time, there were 3 RANR cadet units in schools, about 120 cadets in all, and 39 Navy League ASCC units with some 2000 cadets.
The Bill was passed with the support of all parties and much praise for the Navy League of Australia whose members, as stated by Defence Minister The Hon. Jim Killen MHR,

"a magnificent body of people who have sought no gain or acknowledgement . . . who have made a singular contribution in a very direct sense to the defence quality of this country".

referring, of course to the Navy League of Australia.
Hopes were also expressed that the League would continue its "insistent interest" in naval matters.
Nearly two years passed before, on Ist January 1973, the Navy League's 2000 strong Australian Sea Cadet Corps cadets were transferred under the control of the RAN and renamed Naval Reserve Cadets (NRC).
Even then, the Navy League's task was not finished for in 1975, the government-of-the-day, the Whitlam Labor Government, decided to cease Cadet training.
It was the League's Federal President's task to remind the then Defence Minister, Mr William Morrison, that the Navy League had an agreement with the Naval Board whereby it would receive twelve months notice of intention to abandon cadet training - an agreement reached due to the foresight of former Navy League Federal President, Rear Admiral Harry Showers RAN.

Although the Australian Naval Board had ceased to exist due to the previous 1974 re-organisation of the defence group of departments, Defence Minister, Mr Morrison, honoured the Navy League's agreement with the Naval Board and gave the League time to determine whether it could, in effect, "take-over" the NRC from the RAN.
However before any decision was necessary by the Navy League the Federal Labor Government was sacked by Governor-General Sir john Kerr and in the December 1975 Federal election following that action the voters rejected the Labor Party and transferred their support to the Liberal Party administration of Prime Minister The Hon. Malcolm Fraser.
He immediately suspended the abolition of Cadet Units, which was now well under way with Army school cadets and the Air Training Corps (ATC). The Naval Reserve Cadets (NRC) were still operating due to the agreed delay in the hand over procedure.
They thus became part of a new revised Service Cadet Organisation adopted by the new parliament.

On 1st April 2001 the Australian Defence Cadet system came into being and the NRC was renamed Australian Navy Cadets (ANC). This is part of the outworking of the Topley Report to Parliament on Cadets.
© Copyright John M Wilkins RFD* May 2000


Defence Act 1903 - 1914
Evans, F.G., The Navy magazine April 1981, NLA (ANCC) Cadets.
The Naval Defence Act 1910 - 1912
The Naval Defence Act 1910 - 1912- Statutory Rules 1913 No.143
The Naval Defence Act 1910 - 1912- Statutory Rules 1913 No.250
The Naval Defence Act 1910 - 1912 -1910 - 1918 - Statutory Rules 1913 No.143
The Navy League Journal of New South Wales Branch 1920-1932.
Veale, CMDR R.S., MSS notes and letters on ANCC - RANR cadets.
Wilkins, J.M., History of the Naval Reserves 1860 - 1980, 1980 Ed.

(Refer Navy League Journal of NSW December 1921 for Sea Cadets)

The Mariner's compass consists of a circular card, which is carried by a magnetised bar of hardened steel placed under the card joining the North and South points. This magnetised bar is called the needle. This card is carefully fixed upon a fine steel pivot rising from the bottom of a brass or copper bowl, by means of a small agate cup, fixed in the centre of the needle. The card and needle are thus free to swing as if they were floating in water. The bowl containing the card is carried on gimbals, so that it may always remain level in whatever direction the ship may pitch or roll. The bowl has a glass cover, and is placed in a wooden or brass case called a binnacle, which is fitted to carry lights to illuminate the Compass at night.
Inside the bowl is painted a vertical or up and down line commonly called the "Lubbers Point," and the bowl is so arranged in the binnacle that in small vessels the Compass being placed directly over the keel, the centre of the compass card, the Lubber Line, and the ship's head shall be in one Iine.
The Helmsman steers by the Lubber Iine, keeping any given point of the Compass is near to it as possible; this point of the Compass, by which the Helmsman steers, is called the Ship's Compass Course.
The Compass card is divided into Four Quadrants by two diameters perpendicular to one another. The ends of these diameters are called North, South, East, and West are marked N, S, E, W.; they are termed cardinal points. (See Figure 1)
Each of these quadrants is divided into eight equal spaces, and the points dividing these spaces are called Points of the Compass; accordingly there are 32 Points of the Compass altogether.
The names of the Points of the Compass are obtained as follows:-
Starting with the two diameters, N. S., W. E., divide the four quadrants equally by two more dotted diameters (Fig.2) and name their ends by the two letters between which each end falls, thus: - N.E., S.E., S.W., N.W..
Now you have eight spaces; divide these spaces equally, and name their ends by the three letters between which each end falls, taking care always to place the single letter before the double letters; thus the eight new points are:
N.N.E., E.N.E., E.S.E., S.S.E., S.S.W., W.S.W., W.N.W., N.N. W..
Now you have sixteen points and it will be noticed that the word "by" does not occur in any of them.
To form the remaining sixteen points, divide equally the sixteen spaces we have already obtained by the short dotted lines, which are the ends of diameters.
The word "by" (written b.) means "one point towards," and is used in the formation of all the remaining sixteen points; it is always followed by one of the names of the four cardinal points, N.S.E.W., and never by a double name, as N.E..
Starting from N. and moving in the direction of the hands of a watch, the first new point we come to is "one point" from N., it is therefore named N.b.E. (North by East).
The next point we come to is "one point towards" N. before coming to N.E.; it is therefore named N.E.b.N..
The next new point is one point towards E., from N.E.; it is therefore called N.E.b.E..
There is one more new point before we come to E., it is "one point towards" N. from E. and is therefore named E.b.N.. And so on with the other three quadrants of the Compass.
Besides the above 32 points, each point is divided into four quarters; the direction of the quarter, half, or three-quarters being indicated from any of the 32 points towards one of the four cardinal points, "e.g." N..E. or N.. W. means point from N. towards E. or towards W. respectively. S.W.3/4.S. or S.W. 3/4.W. means 3/4. Point from S.W. towards S., or W..
DO NOT say E.b.S..E., it is more simple to say E..S., as it means the same thing.
Value of one point of the Compass (in degrees) is found by dividing the 90 degrees contained in the quadrant by 8, the number of points which the quadrant contains.
Thus one point equals 90 degrees divided by 8, equals 11 degrees 15 minutes, and
point equals 5 degrees 37 minutes 3 secs..

The Eight (8) Principal points of the Compass are:-
Four (4) Cardinal Points; N.S.E.W.
Four (4) Half Cardinal Points: S.E., S.W., N.E., N.W.,

The Eight (8) False points: N.N.E., E.N.E., E.S.E., S.S.E., S.S.W., W.S.W., W.N.W., N.N.W.
The Sixteen (16) "by" points are so named because they "lay by", and are named from the eight (8) principal points (i.e. the four (4) cardinal, four (4) half-cardinal.)
So the eight (8) false points + (8) Principal Points = (16) sixteen points,
this + (16) sixteen "by" points = thirty-two (32) points, as follows:(See Fig.1.)


The mariner's Compass is subject to the following errors: -

Variation - Deviation - Heeling Error - Dip

The angle between the true North and the Magnetic North (the needle points to the magnetic North), this in few parts of the world agrees with the true North, the difference between them is called the Variation of the Compass.
The angle between the Magnetic North and the Compass North caused by the iron or steel in the ship, her equipment, or cargo (the deviation in iron ships is affected by the heel of the ship altering the relative positions of the iron to the Compass card), this is termed Heeling Error.
Is the result of the earth's magnetic attraction, which attracts the end of the needle nearest to the Pole towards it ; thus it is the angle the needle makes with the horizon. Near the Equator it inclines but little, if properly balanced, but one end becomes depressed as one advances to the pole - the North end in the Northern Hemisphere, and vice versa.

Weight of Lead - 7 to 14 lbs.(lb = Imperial pounds; 2.2 lbs = 1 kilogram)
Length of Line - From 20 to 25 fathoms - Divided into 9 Marks and 11 Deeps.

1 Fathom
2 Fathoms
A piece of leather with 2 ends
3 Fathoms
A piece of leather with 3 ends
4 Fathoms
5 Fathoms
6 Fathoms
7 Fathoms
8 Fathoms
9 Fathoms
10 Fathoms
A piece of leather with a hole in it.
11 Fathoms
12 Fathoms
13 Fathoms
14 Fathoms
15 Fathoms
16 Fathoms
17 Fathoms
18 Fathoms
19 Fathoms
20 Fathoms
Two Knots

The Lead Line is marked :-
At 2 fathoms with a piece of leather with two ends.
At 3 fathoms with a piece of leather with three ends.
At 5 and 15 fathoms, with white bunting.
At 7 and 17 fathoms, with red bunting.
At 13 fathoms, with blue bunting.
At 10 fathoms, with a piece of leather with a hole in it.
At 20 fathoms, with a piece of string with two knots.

Weight of lead - 28 to 30 lbs.
Length of Deep Sea Lead Line - from 100 to 200 fathoms.
First 20 fathoms marked as Hand Lead Line.
Then at
25 fathoms - 1 knot.
30 fathoms - 3 knots
35 fathoms - 3 knots
40 fathoms - 4 knots.
And so on to 95 fathoms.
100 fathoms - A piece of bunting.
105 fathoms - 1 knot.
110 fathoms - a piece of leather.
115 fathoms - 1 knot
120 fathoms - 2 knots
And so on as for 100 fathoms
6 feet = 1 fathom
100 fathoms = 1 cable
10 cables = 1 sea mile (nearly)
3 sea miles = 1 league
60 sea miles = 1 degree of latitude.
A sea mile or knot, sometimes termed as a geographical mile, is assumed to contain 6080 feet.
L.L.L.L. (four L's)
Said to be trhe sailor's watchword, meaning "Log, Lead, Latitude, Look Out", and of these you will find that the Lead is the most to be relied upon.
When entering harbours, and you are doubtful about your position, turn at once to the Lead as your best friend: (however well you know them, for "people often stumble over their own doorstep.")
In using the Deep-Sea Lead, remember it is always hove from the windward side of the ship.
(Extract From NL-NSW Journal 1921)
© Copyright Navy League of Australia 1997


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