Campbeltown Sea Cadets 60th Anniversary


Celebrating 60 Years of Campbeltown Sea Cadets
1955 - 2015


60 Years


1955 - 2015


We wish to thank former members

of Campbeltown Sea Cadets for

providing some of the

photographs and newspaper

articles from Campbeltown

Courier. Information also came

from the booklet ‘Campbeltown

remembered 1942 – 1982.

About us

Campbeltown Sea Cadet Unit

was formed in 1955. For the last

six decades, hundreds of young

people in Kintyre have benefited

from the Sea Cadets and

although the Unit has seen its

fair share of highs and lows,

today Campbeltown Sea Cadets

continues to play an important

role in the community. Despite

the Unit being one of the most

remote in the Northern Area,

with a strong group of staff and

volunteers, the Unit still

managed to accomplish some

amazing achievements and has

defied the disadvantages of

being in a remote area.

The cadets originally met at the

Boatshed at the Quarry Green,

then at the old TA Hall (now

demolished). Following the

demolition of the TA Hall the

Unit met for a short period in the

Heritage Centre and currently

parades at the Cadet Hall at


Our History

In September 1955 No 480 Unit of the

Sea Cadets Corps was formed and later

granted the name Training Ship

Campbeltown, to honour not only the

town of its birth, but also the heroic

ship’s company of the lost destroyer.

The name HMS Campbeltown has a

distinguished record of Royal Navy

service during World War Two, with

honours for the Battle of the Atlantic,

1941-1942, and the legendary raid on

St Nazaire in1942, known as Operation

Chariot where she was deliberately

blown up in an attempt to destroy a dry

dock in occupied France. Commanded

by Lieutenant Commander Stephen

Beattie during the raid for which he

received the Victoria Cross for his

gallantry and leadership.

Since 1989 the new HMS

Campbeltown, a Type 22 frigate,

regularly visited Campbeltown and

strong links were forged between the

Royal Navy and local community. She

was decommissioned in 2011.



A challenging beginning.

“Don’t turn down the Sea Cadets” was the

headline in the December 1955 edition of

the Campbeltown Courier. The newly

formed Campbeltown Sea Cadets was

seeking to rent the former lifeboat house

at Quarry Green to hold parades, but was

rejected by the Town Council. Councillor

Anderson said Campbeltown was a

seaport town and it was most important

that the sea cadets should have facilities

for training. The Provost agreed this was

a matter of some public interest and

suggested the matter should go back to

the committee for further consideration.

“They are a public-spirited body and they

are going to do a lot of good in the town.

I think this should be reconsidered.”

January 12 th 1956 edition of the Courier:

‘Town’s Sea Cadets – Answer is still

“No”’. The application was again turned


Finally, the Sea cadets were offered the

let of the lifeboat house later that year.

Photo courtesy of Steve Partridge

Campbeltown Sea Cadets – Present day

At the end of November the Unit had their annual Prize Giving evening to

celebrate the achievements of cadets who have excelled in various areas.

However, the icing on the cake is the Unit being awarded the prestigious Burgee

for 2015, the highest recognition of achievement to a unit in the Sea Cadet Corp.

Commanding Officer Donnie Cameron said, “I am absolutely delighted the Unit

has been awarded with the Burgee and so proud of all the Cadets, staff and

volunteers. This could not have been achieved without the hard work and

dedication of every member of Campbeltown Sea Cadets and all of them are a

credit to the town and to their families. Campbeltown Unit has been helping young

people gain vital skills for the last 60 years and with local and national support,

we hope to be able to do so for many years to come.”

Looking back

1975 was TS Campbeltown’s first

Efficiency Pennant.

In 1978 the Unit received its fourth

consecutive Efficiency Pennant and

was presented with its colours by a

former commanding officer of the

Unit, Lieutenant Commander R.H.

Craig, RD, RNR.

A new dimension was added to the

Unit early in 1979, with the

proposed formation of a Girls’

Nautical Training Contingent. It

was two years later that this first

Contingent received its official


1965 1975 1975



1979 proved to be a momentous

year, seeing the start of a drum and

bugle band and the weekly

performance of the Ceremonial

Sunset on the Old Quay through the


Cadet Petty Officer C. McLellan

achieved the highest marks in the

area for his advancement

examinations, and was presented

with the Ben Line Award before

leaving the Unit to enter the Royal


This was also the year the Unit

received its first Burgee. The

Burgee, a flag hoisted to the top of a

ship’s mast, was awarded only to

those units showing highest

standard of efficiency. It recognises

the quality of training offered to the

cadets and the administration of the

group including how well the

activities run each year.


A historical visit by two officers

from the Sea Cadet Unit

Campbelltown, Australia. At a

Ceremonial Sunset, the newly

formed Kintyre Unit’s drum and

bugle band made their first public

performance. Led by leading

drummer, LS Allan Shaw and their

leading bugler, LS Derek Pope,

they put on an impressive display.

Lieutenant Lionel Mower,

commanding officer of the

Campbelltown Naval Reserve

Cadet unit inspected the guard

during the ceremony.

1980 – 25 th Anniversary

Commander Graham Shaw,

commander of the Northern Area

visited the Unit for their annual

assessment and prize giving.

With JS Deborah Brodie, the

winners were (from left): LS Alan

Shaw – best dressed; LS Duncan

Waterman – best Cadet; AB David

Barrett, who gained the newly

awarded County Garage Cup for

the most promising Cadet in 1980

and LS Andrew Carter who

received the Sailing Trophy for

being the Unit’s best helmsman.

(Front row) LS Kevin Buglass, who

captured the Port Division of the

Unit and JS Thomas Graham,

whose fastest tying of a bowline

knot won first place.

The 1981

In 1981 the Unit received its second

Burgee, which was presented in a

ceremony by round-the-world

yachtsman, Lieutenant-Commander

Robin Knox-Johnston, CBE, RNR.

But the best was yet to come when

their continued variety and

excellence of their activities led to

the award of the coveted

Stephenson Trophy for the

Champion Unit of Northern Area.

HMS Bickington, the Unit’s affiliated

ship visited Campbeltown and the

ship’s company and cadets joined

together for an impressive march

through the town and combined

ceremonial divisions.

The 1982

40 th anniversary celebrations of the Royal Navy raid on the French port of St Nazire. It was during this raid that the

destroyer HMS Campbeltown was blown up, destroying the dock gates. Cadets and officers are pictured sitting

under the ship’s bell from the destroyer.

The 1982

A memorable trip to France, where the

Unit took part in the 40 th anniversary

celebrations of the raid on St Nazaire

by HMS Campbeltown raid. The ship

in the background is not just any old

naval ship, it is the Royal Yacht


The 6 days trip saw cadets travel from

Campbeltown to Portsmouth then on to

France. Cadets had the opportunity to

tour the HMS Vernon, HMS Victory

(the oldest naval ship in the world), and

HMS Euraylus among other activities.


The Unit’s annual Prize Giving

Best Cadet - LS R McGregor

Most Promising Cadet - OS N, Willerton

Endeavour Trophy - JS G McLauchlan

Marksman - PO D Harvey

Sailing Trophy - JS C Scally

Mementoes on departure from the Unit were

presented to Cadet Petty Officer David Harvey

and Leading Seaman James Thomson.


Seven cadets with Sub Lt

Graham Woodley were special

guests aboard HMS Dulverton.

Thanks to the Royal Navy’s

invitation to them to spend

some time on one of the

world’s largest fibre glass

vessels. HMS Dulverton sailed

out of Campbeltown Loch with

the VIPs, James Thomson,

Ross McGregor, Iain Rich,

Donald McLeod, Graham

Harvey, Kenneth Henderson

and Michael Russell all aboard.


Trafalgar Night, the night when the

Royal Navy, worldwide, celebrates

Nelson’s victory of Trafalgar. The Unit

celebrated with a dinner at the Ardshiel

Hotel. During the evening, John

McTaggart was presented with a gift to

commemorate his sixteen year

involvement with the Unit.


Commander John Rainer of the Royal

Navy Mine Countermeasure Squadron

presented the Unit with a Pennant for

their annual assessment, through

Cadet David McGregor.


Double victory: where the

shooting and pentathlon

teams both achieved first in

the national competition.


Annual Inspection being carried out

by Commander DM Sandford RN,

Northern Area Officer of the Sea

Cadets Corps.


Chief Officer Hope Gosse, WRNS, officer

in charge of the Girls Nautical Training

Contingent in the UK, paid the Unit a visit.

Pictured here with the Girls’ Nautical

Contingent and Third Officer Kate Jackson.


An Ambassador for her country – Jillian

Hanna was chosen from the entire UK

Female Sea Cadet contingent to

represent the organisation at an

International Cadet Camp in India.


Cadets Peter Ferguson and Angus Dryden

on board TS Royalist while on a visit to



Annual Presentation took place at

the TA Hall. The Unit welcomed the

Squadron Commander C Meatyard,

Royal Navy.


Eight members of the Unit met

HRH Prince Andrew, the Duke of

York (right), when they sailed with

HMS Campbeltown from

Liverpool to Plymouth.

From the right are J Glover, I

Smith, C Irvine, Lt G Woodley, R

Lee, G Macpherson, PPO K

Henderson, J O’Brien and Lt W

Sheridan, the observer in the


Fast forward to 2008

In 2009 the Unit received

their first Efficiency award

since 1988 in the form of a

Pennant, which was

received again in 2010.

Cadets had the opportunity to

step inside a helicopter from

HMS Gannett.

Trafalgar Sunday

On board TS John Jerwood


For the first time since 1988 TS

Campbeltown was awarded a

Burgee as a mark of excellence.

It was presented to the Unit at its

annual prize giving.

OC James Arbuckle,

photographed here, was

awarded the Jubilee Rose Bowl

for best cadet.

The Decommissioning of HMS Campbeltown

In an emotional farewell, HMS Campbeltown slipped her moorings and sailed past

the heart of the town for the final time. The events held during this celebratory

goodbye started with a grand parade through the town - echoing what happened

when the ship first visited the town in 1989.

Commander Keri Harris always knew this would be an emotional day for the

townsfolk and crew and said: “It is hard to imagine any other small town in the

British Isles providing such a busy and exciting programme of events for a

warship. There have been many highlights, but for me the town parade and

church service held in the ship’s honour were the most moving; they brought into

focus the sense of loss being experienced by the town as HMS Campbeltown

prepares to decommission early.”

The ship’s motto is ‘Victoria Fortes Sequitur’ which translates as ‘Victory through



Training at HMS Raleigh

TS Campbeltown

Today, the Unit may be smaller

in numbers compared to its hay

day. Nonetheless, it continues

to inspire young people to

achieve and to excel in life. It

continues to promote the core

values of the Sea Cadets of

Respect, Loyalty, Self-disciple,

Commitment, Honesty and

Integrity. Cadets are given the

opportunity to broaden life

experiences, to learn key life

skills and achieve qualifications

in a range of areas, all of which

boosts their confidence as they

prepare for the rest of their

lives. There is now a good

number of cadets in the Unit all

undergoing the Sea Cadet

training programme involving:

adventure training, waterborne,

leadership, teamwork,

community activities and

promoting the core values.

Photo courtesy of Sarah MacDonald Photography


Campbeltown Sea Cadets

celebrated an exceptional

year of achievements at

their Annual General

Meeting and Prize Giving.

The unit is also delighted to

have achieved an efficiency

award for the 6 th consecutive

year. This is an annual

assessment on the

achievements and

accomplishments of cadets,

as well as the administration

and safety of the unit. Also

for the first time in the

history of the unit, a cadet

took part in the annual

Trafalgar Day Parade,

joining the Massed Band of

the Sea Cadets in Trafalgar

Square, London. Equally

impressive is Able Cadet

Iain Cameron, being the first

cadet to achieve a RYA

safety boat qualification and

the only person in the unit to

qualify to teach sailing.

Offshore Voyages

Cadets Jo Chinn, Connor Chinn, Yvonne Graham, Connor Ewart, Cameron Wilkes and

Suen Yee Walker took part in offshore training on the TS John Jerwood and enjoyed a

fantastic week’s voyage around the West Coast and Isles of Scotland.

Cadets were trained in navigation, bridge team duties, seamanship, deck work, engineering,

cook/steward and experienced all the duties needed to operate a vessel at sea. Cadets

were also given shore leave to explore some of the islands and had the opportunity to sail

past the famous Corryvreckan whirlpool. Cadet Arbuckle was on the TS City Liveryman and

Cadet Cameron was on the TS Vigilant for their offshore training.

Lord Lieutenant’s Cadet

Friends and family were invited

to a special presentation

ceremony of the Lord

Lieutenant’s Cadet to Petty

Officer Cadet Ewan MacArthur.

The certificate and badge were

presented by the Lord

Lieutenant of Argyll and Bute

Patrick Stewart MBE WS. Petty

Officer Cadet MacArthur is the

first Lord Lieutenant’s Cadet

from Campbeltown unit.

Tri-Service Cadet Band

Cadet First Class Suen Yee Walker joined young musicians

from the Army and Air Training Corps for the Tri-Service Cadet

Band Camp at Barry Buddon, Dundee.

During the course of the week they performed in the Gardens

of Holyrood Palace for the Duke of Edinburgh's Award Gold

Presentations, a Beating Retreat in Montrose to welcome HMS

Montrose to the town, the Naming Ceremony of the HMS

Queen Elizabeth in the presence of Her Majesty and finally

performing at the Armed Forces Day Celebrations in Dundee.

Trafalgar Day Parade

Sunday 19 October marked the 209th annual

national Trafalgar Day parade in Trafalgar Square,

London. Cadet First Class Suen Yee Walker joined

more than 500 young people from across the UK

aged 13 – 17 from Sea Cadets, Army Cadet Force,

Air Training Corps and Combined Cadet Force took

part in a spectacular display and parade. Crowds

were treated to performances including physical

training, pipes and drums by Air Cadets and an 80-

strong Sea Cadet Massed Band.

WWI Parade in Oban

On Saturday 20th September, three cadet units

Campbeltown, Oban and Lochaber joined

together to commemorate the centenary of World

War One with a parade in Oban. Also on parade

were the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, RBLS,

Scots Guards, Argylls, ATC, Army Cadets and

Boys Brigade & Girl Guides.


Cadets took to the water for their boating training

throughout the summer months and into the autumn.

Cadets were at various stages of training, from basic

competency to being able to take charge of a boat

and inexperienced crew. Several boats were used:

the Trinity 500, a pioneer rowing boat, a safety boat

and Pico sailing dinghies crewed by senior cadets

who were giving a taster session of sailing to cadets

who had not sailed previously. Apart from rowing,

cadets also learn various other aspects of

seamanship and boat handling.

RNP 2014

On 27 th October, the Unit had the pleasure of

welcoming Captain Peter Adams RN, Area Officer

for Northern Area to their 2014 RNP. Along with

the inspection of divisions, family and friends were

treated to musical entertainment by cadets, and

evolutions which showed the Unit’s skills and

training over the past year.

During the course of the evening, presentations were also made to

members of staff and cadets. PO (SCC) Gannon received the

Cadet Forces Medal for 12 years continuous uniformed adult

service. Lt (SCC) Willet RNR received the second clasp to her

Cadet Forces Medal for a total of 24 years continuous uniformed

adult service. Able Cadet James Arbuckle was presented with

badge for RYA Level 2 power boat and Able Cadet Iain Cameron

was awarded badges for RYA Safety boat, RYA Dinghy Instructor

and his Sea Cadet corps Master Coxswain qualification. Finally, a

special presentation of a limited edition replica of the new Queen

Elizabeth Aircraft Carrier was presented to First Class Cadet Suen

Yee Walker for her involvement in both the Tri-Service Cadet Band

who played for the VIP’s at the Carriers Naming Ceremony and the

Massed Band of the Sea Cadets who performed at the Trafalgar

Day Parade, London.


The Pioner Multi, a new

addition to Campbeltown Sea

Cadets. This unique boat

takes safety, durability and

versatility to a new level.

With a large deck space and

wide bow port, it will

essentially be used as a

safety boat for cadets’ boat

training. Funded through the

Community Covenant Grant

Scheme of the Armed Forces,

the boat will also allow the

Unit to take ex-service

personnel on cruises around

the Loch. Donnie Cameron,

Commanding Officer of the

Unit said, “We are extremely

pleased with the successful

application of funding to allow

the Unit to purchase this boat.

Not only will it improve the

boat training of cadets but

due to the boat’s unique bow

entry system, it is capable of

wheelchair access and

therefore allows multifaceted


Photo courtesy of Campbeltown Courier

Northern Area Junior Summer Camp

A total of 4 Junior cadets enjoyed a fantastic week

of training at Greenock but also plenty of fun, with

all of them gaining their Yellow, Green, Blue and

Red modules.

Photo courtesy of Northern Area Junior Summer Camp

Northern Area Archery Competition

This is the first time the Unit had cadets entered

into the Area’s Archery Competition. Cadets

Suen Yee Walker, Shona Bassett and Caius

Walker represented the Highland District with

the Junior Team coming second.

Camping weekend

Cadets had a great weekend of

camping at Port Ban, where

they had to set up camp, before

enjoying games and activities

Photo courtesy of Sea Cadets Northern Area

Commando Speed March


This year’s winner was Able

Cadet Iain Cameron with a time

of 57mins 17secs - a new record

for the event! The trophy,

donated by the Commando

Association was presented by

Colonel Brian Hume of HRFCA.

We were delighted to receive

funding from Awards for All to

purchase two new Wanderer

dinghies to enable sailing training

to take place. Able Cadet

Arbuckle managed to take the

dingy for a ‘test drive’ on a

beautiful autumn day.

Sea Cadets National Band Competition

150 Sea Cadets aged 12 – 18 competed at a local level in 400

towns across the UK to make it to Tower of London for the

nationals. It was the Unit’s first to have a representative at this

event. Ordinary Cadet Suen Yee Walker represented the

Northern Area and performed against nine other bands from

different Sea Cadet areas at the Tower of London on Saturday

22nd August. Northern Area came 4th overall.

Crossing the Line Party and supporting Anti-bullying week

Campbeltown Sea Cadets

We wish to thank friends, family, volunteers, cadets and

staff past and present for 60 good years!

Thank you also to the many organisations who have

supported us along the way.

© 2015 Produced by Emily Walker | Wepo Designs

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