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Busy finish followed by busy start

THE final months of the year are always a busy time for Sea Cadet units, with the Trafalgar Day parades, Remembrance ceremonies and Christmas activities playing major roles in unit diaries.

from Northampton and Wellingborough unit, including the Diamond Division (Rushden), turned out for their Remembrance Day parade, with three of them proudly wearing medals of loved ones who fought in various wars.

Almost 100 cadets Squeezed into the programme

at the end of November was the Diamond Division annual prizegiving, with LC Rosie Russell winning the honour of Cadet of the Year. That month also saw the

Eastern Area conference, at which the unit was awarded the David Gay trophy for the best participation and training in sailing and the Stephenson Trophy for being the best unit in Eastern Area. December saw the unit take

the prizes for best unarmed squad, best piping team and best individual piper at the District drill and piping competition. And with the juniors competing for the first time, TS Laforey sent along A and B teams, with the A team winning. Participation at the Eastern Area football competition was not quite as successful, with both the junior girls and the senior boys narrowly missing victory. The year closed with a carol service and the cadets’ Christmas dinner, attended by almost 80 members, while the unit’s Christmas disco was held at the Royal Navy Club in Northampton. Even though 2013 is still

young, the unit’s attention is now turning to serious matters. The Eastern Area drill and piping competition was due to be held as Navy News went to press, and in the middle of this month the unit will be examined in detail for their Royal Naval Inspection.

Rowers challenged to circle the globe

SEA Cadets are known for their rowing (or ‘pulling’) prowess – but an attempt to row around the world over a long weekend sounds quite ambitious... Fortunately the burden will be shared by the whole Corps. Units across the UK have

been invited to help row the circumference of the world – 24,900 miles, give or take the odd mile – in 80 hours between April 18 and 21.

This will coincide with an

attempt by the Sea Cadet Headquarters team to row a Trinity 500 boat along the canal network from Abingdon to the Thames.

The HQ’s hand-picked team for the row from Abingdon to Tower Bridge is now complete, and 30 units have already signed up – though organisers are hoping for 100 more to make it a big success.

And just to make sure everyone has a chance, cadets from some of the 400 UK units will be taking to rowing machines at approved British rowing clubs to help reach the target, avoiding the need to head out onto the water. All this effort is part of the Ship

Ahoy initiative, which is designed to build a replacement for the Corps’ training ship TS Royalist. The Sea Cadets’ flagship has been taking cadets to sea since 1971, to

giving them a chance learn new skills and master

situations outside their normal environment.

Sailing the tall ship in stormy seas or navigating busy waterways requires character and is an effective way of building team spirit.

But Royalist is now more than

40 years old and reaching the end of her useful life with the Sea Cadets, so a £5.6 million appeal was officially launched in 2009 to build a replacement. On Trafalgar Day last year,

l Units have been challenged to take up their oars to help fund the replacement for TS Royalist

with around £4 million raised from corporate sources,


spotlight was shifted to the cadets themselves, with the units challenged to raise £250,000. The new ship will probably look

similar to Royalist but will benefit from current technology which will greatly reduce running costs when compared to the existing sailing brig – Royalist costs around £440,000 a year to keep at sea. The replacement will also have

advanced safety and navigation features, making it possible for her to visit virtually every port and marina in the UK. Royalist has seen around 30,000 cadets train on board in the past four decades, and it


expected that the new ship will have a similar lifespan. The Corps hopes the ship will be commissioned and ready for

the 2015 sailing season. Other initiatives which have

contributed to the fund to date, or soon will, include: Tyne

including Jarrow, Hebburn and Sunderland, Gateshead, South Shields and Seaham units, led by Lt Cdr (SCC) Alfred Simpson RNR,


Christmas Eve bag packing at Asda at the Metrocentre. The event also demonstrated


how units in a district can get together to raise some cash. Doubling as a reconnaissance for the rowathon, a small MSSC team will take on a cycle challenge as they bike the 71 miles from Abingdon to Tower Bridge on March 15-16 to raise even more for the appeal.

h Second Sea Lord Vice Admiral David Steel has asked the Royal

South District, h raised £2,106.88 on h

Navy to support the appeal. Vice Admiral Steel has written to all RN ships and establishments asking them to weigh in as the Corps works towards its target. Cdr John Greene, Cdr Paul Haines and Lt Cdr Cliff Lewis are running the 2013 Virgin London Marathon in aid of the appeal. SCTC Weymouth

will be

using the centre’s climbing wall to ascend 5,895 metres – the equivalent of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. Ten people will make 73 climbs

in 12 hours, a challenge they hope to complete by the end of April. For advice or help on joining the

rowathon, or undertaking some other form of fundraising for Ship Ahoy,

org or download the fundraising pack and associated forms from the Sea Cadets website.

contact events@ms-sc.

New division named after heroic wartime submariner

l LC Connor Tracy (centre) with PO (SCC) Darren Brydon, First Lieutenant at Edinburgh Trinity unit (left) and Officer-in-Charge Sub Lt (SCC) Andrew Bell RNR

Trinity member wins accolade

FOR the first time in many years, Edinburgh Trinity unit has a Lord Lieutenant’s Cadet. LC Connor Tracy has been a member of the Corps since February

2011, always and his

enthusiasm has helped him work up to the level of leading cadet – no mean feat in that timescale. “He has

excelled at

every activity he has become involved with and has inspired others to follow suit,” said Sub Lt (SCC) Andy Bell RNR, Officer- in-Charge at Edinburgh Trinity. “He currently holds a second- class specialisation in seamanship and third-class specialisations in cook steward and a first aid qualification.

“He has also excelled on the

water, holding an RYA Level 2 in power boating, with a coastal endorsement, RYA YSS Level 1 in sailing and a rowing qualification. “LC Tracy is a credit to the

Corps and will be a tough act to follow.”

A NEW training division honouring a wartime hero who led a Sea Cadet unit in Kent has been formally opened at HMS Raleigh. Gould Division is named after ‘Tommy’

William of

two Gould, submariners awarded

the Victoria Cross for bravery on board the submarine HMS Thrasher in 1942.

The division is one of four which make up the initial naval training school at Raleigh, responsible for the instruction and welfare of new recruits undergoing their ten-week induction to the Royal Navy. Tommy was a petty


on board Thrasher when the submarine was attacked by German aircraft off Crete, leaving two unexploded bombs on board. Tommy and the submarine’s second-in-command, Lt Peter Roberts, were given the job of dislodging the bombs.

While one bomb had landed on the casing and could be thrown over the side with relative ease, the other had penetrated the submarine’s outer casing and was resting on the pressure hull. In perilous conditions the two men had to crawl 20ft under the casing to retrieve the bomb – with the risk that the submarine could be forced to dive at any moment if enemy aircraft returned.

Easing it from where it had

lodged, Gould held the bomb still while Roberts put an old potato

l Cdre John Weale (centre) and trainee ET Christopher hold Tommy Gould’s Victoria Cross, while trainee AET Jack Sipple holds the standard of the Submariners Association

sack around it and tied it with a length of rope.

With Gould lying flat on his back with the bomb in his arms, Roberts

lay in front of him,

dragging him by the shoulders as he crawled along, gradually moving it forward towards the casing hatch.


Reaching the hatch, the two manhandled

the bomb

100ft forward to the bows and then dropped it overboard, while Thrasher went full astern to get clear.

The action not only saved their

submarine but also allowed her to continue her operational patrol.

The formal opening of the new division was held to coincide with the passing-out parade marking the end of training for the first group of recruits to complete the course within Gould Division. Cdre John Weale,


Flag Officer Sea Training and a fellow submariner, was the guest of honour at the ceremony and unveiled the tribute. The opening was also

attended by representatives of organisations that had links with Tommy, including branches of the Submariner’s Association, as well as some of his friends. Lt Dominic Rotherham, Gould

Divisional Training Officer, said: “There were many contenders for a divisional name. “However,

Tommy Gould one

represents someone current and relatable who can be an inspiration for our recruits.

“His actions on that day epitomise the Royal Navy’s core values of commitment, courage, discipline,

integrity and loyalty,

respect for others, which

underpins all that we do here at the initial naval training.” Gould was born at Dover on December 28, 1914 and died on December 6, 2001. Leaving the Royal Navy in 1945 and deeply attached to his Jewish roots, Tommy helped to found the ‘43 Group’, an English anti- fascist group set up by Jewish ex-Servicemen.


He also joined the Royal Naval Reserve

and, was

commissioned as a Lieutenant RNR.

He commanded the Sea Cadet

unit at Bromley, in Kent, and subsequently reached the rank of lieutenant commander. His VC was sold at Sotheby’s in October 1987. It is held by the Association of Jewish Ex-Servicemen and Women at the Jewish Military Museum in Hendon, who kindly


medal to HMS Raleigh for the opening ceremony.


l A day for reflection – Royal Marines Cadet Noah Cockram’s image is caught on the polished surface of the war memorial in Caterham, Surrey, during last year’s Remembrance parade. The Honour Guard was provided by cadets from TS Zephyr in Caterham, and the picture was sent in by John Wood, the Detachment Commander Caterham Royal Marines Cadets

FEBRUARY 2013 : 39

Lighter dinner at Stonehaven

STONEHAVEN unit held their annual Cadet Mess Dinner at their headquarters – and there was plenty of light by which to eat this year. The event takes place at the end of each year and involves the cadets being treated to a three-course meal that follows the traditions and etiquette of the Royal Navy. Overall planning and

preparation was done by the charity trustees and unit parents and supporters, with the adult instructional staff assisting at the event by providing the service to the assembled cadets. On the night everything was controlled by the Mess President, who this year was LC Ross Lawson, ably assisted by his deputy LC Calum Stephen. Guest

of Honour was Tom

Hay, a representative of the HMS Diana Association, which affiliated with the unit a couple of years ago and has since made a number of generous donations towards unit funds.

The event also saw the introduction of Rev Maggie Jackson, who will be taking on the role of unit chaplain after the departure of Rev David Stewart last year.

After the meal a number of cadets showed off their musical skills by playing their chosen instruments for the entertainment of the ship’s company before everyone headed home.

Commanding Officer Sub Lt (SCC) Sean Fraser RNR was pleased that the event went off without a hitch. He said “This year everything

has gone smoothly and proceeded to plan – which is a great relief after the drama of last year, when poor weather resulted in a local blackout mid-way through and the remainder of the dinner had to carry on in torch and candle- light only.

all of

“This is the one time when the adults

involved with

the Sea Cadets can show their appreciation for the effort and dedication the youngsters put into their various activities over the year, which keeps us up there as one of the most successful units in the area, if not the UK.” He continued, “Sadly it seems

that the good weather was not to stay and the recent storms have resulted in severe damage to our kayak shed and the loss of some equipment, the cost of which we have yet to establish. “However, we have time for this to be sorted out and we will be back up to strength once our boating season starts again at end of April.”

The festive break is the only time the unit is officially closed during the year, and the cadets were all back into the swing of things by the second week of January.

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