CAMPBELTOWN SEA CADETS
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.
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
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.”
1975 was TS Campbeltown’s first
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.
In 1981 the Unit received its second
Burgee, which was presented in a
ceremony by round-the-world
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
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.
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
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,
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
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
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,
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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