The Sea Cadet, No. 3, Vol. 3, November 1945

Over the Channel to Calais By SUB-LIEUTENANT R.D. PEARCE, R.N.V.R. (Dover Unit) The Dover Sea Cadet shave car­ried on throughout the dark days when the town was bombed, dive- bombed, machine-gunned, a target for flying bombs and, worst of all, shelled by the German long-range guns on the clills at Calais. From the cliffs they have watched our guns reply and our aircraft rain their bombs on the port of Calais. On Sunday, 2nd September, at the invitation of the Mayor and officials of Calais, one hundred cadets of the Dover unit crossed the Channel. Thanks to the naval authorities at Dover, three high­ speed steam gunboats, H.M.S. Grey Shark, Grey Fox and Grey Goose, were placed at their disposal for the day. A good stiff breeze and a choppy sea provided plenty of thrills for the cadets and good instruction in steering. Arriving at Calais at 0915, they were welcomed by the Commissioner of the Pas de Calais Boy Scouts and about 150 Boy Scouts and Girl Guides. The Sea Cadets, headed by their drum and bugle band, marched to the Town Hall and were received by the Mayor and officials of the town, who presented each officer and cadet with a badge bearing the Calais coat of arms. The officers, petty officer cadets and the youngest cadet signed their names in the visitors’ book. The Mayor, address­ing the cadets, said that they were pleased to have them for the first time on French soil and in the Town Hall, which had been the scene of many his­toric events. The cadets were the future members of the Royal Navy, which they in France admired so much. They hoped that in the hard-won peace they would be brothers and that the youth of their countries would sidewalk by side and take their worthy part in the new world. The Commanding Officer thanked the Mayor for his cordial welcome and then came the ceremony of hoisting the British and French flags in the town square. The French Scouts raised the Union Flag, whilst the Sea Cadets hoisted the French Flag to the accom­paniment of the bugle band playing the General Salute. With the band leading, the Sea Cadets, with the French Scouts and Guides, marched through the crowded streets of Calais, and later were enter­tained to lunch by the Mayor. In the afternoon the French Scouts showed the Sea Cadets round the town and they saw how the people of Calais had suffered and the terrible effect of our bombing of the port. The Sea Cadets were much impressed by the smart appearance and marching of the French boys and by the fact that, in spite of four years of German occu­pation, so many of them could speak quite good English. The flags of both countries were lowered in the town square, with the buglers sounding “Sunset,” after which, headed by the band, the cadets marched back to the ships. On embarking for the return trip the cadets were wished “au revoir ”by the Mayor of Calais and they replied with“ Vive La France.” The Calais Scouts sang out“ Vive l’Angleterre,” and then all joined in“ Auld Lang Syne.” On the passage home a signal was received by the Sea Cadets from the Mayor of Calais wishing them“ bon voyage,” to which the cadets replied, “Many thanks hope to see you again.” 68 Marching front the dockyard—H.M.S. “Grey Shark” “Grey Fox ”and “Grey Goose ”can he seen in the background
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