The Sea Cadet, No. 8, Vol. 2, April 1945

Free railway vouchers are supplied, and training and full board at the schools are provided free of charge. Boys who have been in insurable employment long enough before join­ing can draw unemployment benefit while at the school. The age is 161 years or over. The boys have to provide their own sea kit. which costs from £6 to £8 but this can be paid for by their parents as convenient, or else deducted in instal­ ments from their wages after they have gone to sea. Part is supplied on joining the school, the remainder on leaving. But of most interest to us is the way in which the Merchant Navy has been reorganized so that it becomes areal career. The pool system was introduced fairly early in the war, so that crews could be supplied on short notice. Under this, men are guaranteed a con­tinuing minimum wage whether they are at sea or not. They qualify for two days’ holiday for every month afloat, a maximum of twenty-four days in the year they work the standard fifty-six- hour week, and anything beyond that counts for overtime at increased rates. And, more important still, every deckhand has the chance of qualifying as an officer. These new advantages are going to be continued after the war, and, once the present element of danger is re­moved, and ships can again sail the high seas in safety, life in the Merchant Navy will abe vastly different thing from what it was before the war. Not that the element of danger has kept boys and men from going to sea. Far from it. At the very height of the U- boat campaign, volunteers poured in at the rate of 100 a day—proof enough that men were willing to risk their lives in order to get the vital cargoes through. Learning to peg and sheet down the hatches. Training fo rE.D .H .certificates Training is given in ropework (knots and splices), signalling, elementary sea­manship and navigation, and kindred subjects, the course lasting from four to six weeks. It is a strenuous course, with plenty of hard work and some ex­citement. The mayday start at 6.30 with a shower and a gargle, and end with “Lights o u t”at 9.30. Instruction and general duties keep the boys hard at it until 4.15 p.m. or so, when there maybe “shore leave ”until 8.30 p.m. onComing board for fresh adventures. A cadet in the Merchant Navy The Old Red Duster can fly proudly in any quarter of the globe. If you cannot “runaway to sea ”anymore, how can you serve under this Old Red Duster? There are several training schools for boys who want togo to sea in merchant ships, and en­trants are chosen from the Sea Cadets, Sea Scouts and similar organizations. Forms of application for entry into one of these training establishments can be obtained from the Registrar- General of Shipping and Seamen, Dept. WSS, Llandaff, Cardiff but Sea Cadets should apply through the com­manding officers of their own units. 229
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