National website at
ON 1ST APRIL 2001 THE TITLE OF THE NAVAL
RESERVE CADETS WAS CHANGED TO "AUSTRALIAN NAVY CADETS" (ANC)
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)
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)
THE NAVY LEAGUE OF AUSTRALIA
Excellency Ms Quentin Bryce AC
Governor-General of the Commonwealth
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.
LEAGUE OF AUSTRALIA
- ANNUAL CADET EFFICIENCY TROPHY
Awarded & presented by Chief of Navy on behalf of the Navy League
FOR DETAILS OF EACH UNIT SEE RELEVANT STATE OR TERRITORY LISTING ON
(A) NAVY LEAGUE OF AUSTRALIA
- Control & Admin. Period 1930 - 1972
YEAR AWARDED/WINNER/Finalists: QLD/NSW-ACT/
(click on each state
to go to the Cadet unit details)
1959 BARWON (VIC) MAGNUS
GAYUNDAH SYDNEY ALBATROSS BARWON AVALON DERWENT TAMAR
1960 MAGNUS (QLD) MAGNUS GAYUNDAH ALBATROSS SYDNEY BARWON HENTY
LEVEN TAMAR BEDFORD
1961 GAYUNDAH (QLD) GAYUNDAH SIRIUS VOYAGER EMU ADELAIDE BEDFORD
1962 BEDFORD (WA) GAYUNDAH ALBATROSS BARWON DERWENT ADELAIDE
1963 WARREGO (NSW) GAYUNDAH WARREGO BARWON DERWENT FLINDERS BEDFORD
1964 FLINDERS (SA) MAGNUS SIRIUS LATROBE LEVEN FLINDERS CRESWELL
1965 DERWENT (TAS) PALUMA TOBRUK VOYAGER DERWENT FLFNDERS CYGNET
1966 PALUMA (QLD) PALUMA ALBATROSS VOYAGER DERWENT FLINDERS PERTH
1967 TOBRUK (NSW) GAYUNDAH TOBRUK BARWON LEVEN ADELAIDE PERTH
1968 MELBOURNE (VIC) PALUMA TOBRUK MELBOURNE LEVEN FLINDERS BEDFORD
1969 MAGNUS (QLD) MAGNUS TOBRUK VOYAGER TAMAR ADELAIDE PERTH
1970 GAMBIER (SA) PALUMA CANBERRA ALBATROSS BARWON MERSEY GAMBIER
1971 PERTH (WA) TYALGUM SIRIUS BARWON DERWENT ADELAIDE PERTH
1972 ADELAIDE (SA) BUNDABERG PARRAMATTA BENDIGO DERWENT ADELAIDE
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.
(B) ROYAL AUSTRALIAN NAVY - Australian
Navy CADET ORGANISATION 1973 -
1978 ANZAC (WA) BUNDABERG
SIRIUS VOYAGER DERWENT FLINDERS ANZAC
1979 HAWKESBURY (NSW) GAYUNDAH HAWKESBURY BARWON MERSEY FLINDERS
1980 BARWON (VIC) PALUMA SIRIUS BARWON MERSEY WHYALLA PERTH
1981 BARWON (VIC) GAYUNDAH CONDAMINE BARWON DERWENT ADELAIDE
1982 CONDAMINE (NSW) NORFOLK CONDAMINE VOYAGER DERWENT GAMBIER
1983 TAMAR (TAS) ENDEAVOUR HAWKESBURY VOYAGER TAMAR WHYALLA CANNING
1984 CANNING (WA) CORALSEA CANBERRA MELBOURNE TAMAR WHYALLA CANNING
1985 BUNDABERG (QLD) BUNDABERG ALBATROSS HENTY YORK ADELAIDE
1986 FLINDERS (SA) PIONEER ALBATROSS MELBOURNE MERSEY FLINDERS
1987 BARWON (VIC) PIONEER TOBRUK BARWON EMU FLINDERS BUNBURY
1988 VANCOUVER(WA) BUNDABERG VAMPIRE MILDUPA LEVEN NOARLUNGA
1989 CORAL SEA (QLD) CORAL SEA SHROPSHIRE BARWON TAMAR NOARLUNGA
1990 BUNDABERG (QLD) BUNDABERG VAMPIRE LATROBE LEVEN STURT PERTH
1991 STURT(SA) TYALGUM VENDETTA BARWON DERWENT STURT CANNING
1992 MARMION (WA) NORFOLK CANBERRA VOYAGER TAMAR NOARLUNGA MARMION
1993 VENDETTA (NSW) NORFOLK VENDETTA VOYAGER EMU FLINDERS PILBARA
1994 MARMION (WA) NORFOLK VENDETTA TINGIRA EMU WHYALLA MARMION
1995 NORFOLK (QLD) NORFOLK SHOALHAVEN MELBOURNE MERSEY FLINDERS
VANCOUVER MELVILLE BAY
1996 TYALGUM (WA) TYALGUM SHOALHAVEN BARWON MERSEY ADELAIDE ANZAC
1997 TYALGUM (QLD) TYALGUM NEPEAN TINGIRA MERSEY AUGUSTA MARMION
1998 MERSEY (QLD) TYALGUM CANBERRA VOYAGER MERSEY STUART
1999 HAWKESBURY (NSW-ACT)ENDEAVOUR HAWKESBURY VOYAGER
DERWENT AUGUSTA MARMION DARWIN
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 -
League Sea Cadet Corps' History
by CMDR John M Wilkins RFD* RANR Ret'd
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
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
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
"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
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
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
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
Tasmania: T.S. Hobart
of Hobart and Burnie.
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."
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
. SOUTHERN RHODESIA
- 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."
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
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
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
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
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
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
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)
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
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
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.
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
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:
· Composition and strength of
· 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.
· Provision of buildings for
· Provision of facilities not provided by the Navy, eg, recreational
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.
ROYAL AUSTRALIAN NAVY - NAVY LEAGUE: PARTNERSHIP
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
· 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
ON THE MARINER'S C0MPASS AND LEAD LINE.
(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.
POINTS OF THE COMPASS
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.,
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
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
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.
HALF AND QUARTER POINTS
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.½.E. or N.½. W. means ½ 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
DO NOT say E.b.S.½.E., it is more simple to say E.½.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
½ point equals 5 degrees 37 minutes 3 secs..
Eight (8) Principal points of the Compass are:-
Four (4) Cardinal Points; N.S.E.W.
(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.)
OF THE COMPASS
The mariner's Compass is subject to the following errors: -
- 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.
DEVIATION & HEELING ERROR
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
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 =
Length of Line - From 20 to 25 fathoms - Divided into 9 Marks
and 11 Deeps.
piece of leather with 2 ends
piece of leather with 3 ends
piece of leather with a hole in it.
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.
SEA LEAD LINE
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.
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
SEA LINEAR MEASURE
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