The Sea Cadet, No. 1, Vol. 3, September 1945

Sea Cadet Training Camps 1045 By LIE UTE NAN T-C O M M AND ER J. F. SOM NER, M .B.E., D.S.M., R.N.V.R. W E thought that the 1944 camps were complicated enough with all the difficul­ties arising from the invasion of Europe, but the 1945 camping season has provided problems of its own. This article, however, is not intended to be along list of excuses, or alibis, and so the difficulties will be passed over briefly, because in the main they were overcome by the resourcefulness, initiative, and patient efforts of all con­cerned. The Training Camp Department of the Sea Cadet Headquarters survived the awkward period when everyone— employers, officers, cadets and parents —was hesitating and unable to decide about summer camps. Plans were made to accommodate 20,000 cadets and officers, but the reallocation of naval establishment accommodation, the difficulties of travelling and the general uncertainty arising from the victory in Europe caused many unavoidable changes to be made. Fewer Sea Cadet officers were able to offer their services for training camp duties because of civilian responsibili­ties, and the camp staffing problem was acute. The crowning difficulty came when at the end of July the Railway Execu­tive Committee put a ban on all cadet movement by rail on Saturdays during August. This deci­sion, against which there was no ap­peal, resulted in a drastic curtailment o f training pro­ grammes —already working well,and, furthermore, toadded the strain on Headquarters Camp staff and also on cadets, who were frequently faced with long and ^helping hand at H.M.S. “Raleigh ”tedious journeys on account of the poor Sunday train course, there were rough as well as service. smooth passages. Despite all delays and last-minute changes of plans despite staffing diffi­culties and all the uncertainties of this historic summer of 1945 about 15,000 officers and cadets have been away to training camps, and the photographs on these pages will give some idea of the varied scope of the training provided.“ A taste of Navy life ”was the key­note of most of the camps, and, of More cadets than ever before went afloat. A regular weekly cruise from camp to the French coast was a notable feature atone camp, but scores of sea­going craft were manned by Sea Cadets, who had exciting opportunities of steer­ing at high speed, of firing modern weapons at floating targets, and of eat­ing or refusing to eat, just as the weather moved them. Fitting anew stern !—Stand easy at Dover camp whilst a cadet is refitted 2
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