Yeovil Sea Cadets

Yeovil Sea cadets

Founded over 60 years ago


The first Sea Cadet Unit was established in 1854 at Whitstable, Kent, created by communities wanting to give young people instruction on a naval theme. Traditionally old seafarers provided training while local businessmen funded the Unit Headquarters. Today there are over 400 Units across the UK each with charitable status enabling them to raise funds to meet their running costs. All Units are members of the Sea Cadet Corps and are governed by the national charity, the Marine Society & Sea Cadets.

Yeovil and District Sea Cadet Corps was founded in 1953 and initially based at Grass Royal School before moving to Central Road in the old glove factory, then moving to the old hall by the Nelson pub before moving to Chelston Avenue. It finally moved in 1996 and is now based in Building 147 at the Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton (HMS Heron). The unit's Royal Marines Cadet Detachment (RMCD) was formed in January 2008. The Unit is the largest in the district with a complement made up of Sea Cadets, Royal Marines Cadets and Juniors. The crest, at left, is an adapted version of the parent unit's crest.

The Yeovil Sea Cadet unit carries the name TS Mantle VC in honour of Jack Foreman Mantle VC (12 April 1917 – 4 July 1940), an English recipient of the Victoria Cross. He was 23 years old, and an acting leading seaman in the Royal Navy during the Second World War when he was awarded the VC for the following.

During an air raid on Portland, Dorset, in 1940 Leading Seaman Mantle of HMS Foylebank was manning the starboard 20mm pom-pom gun, and his left leg was shattered by the blast from a bomb early in the action. Although wounded again, he remained at his gun until he collapsed and died. His citation in the London Gazette stated "Leading Seaman Jack Mantle was in charge of the Starboard pom-pom when Foylebank was attacked by enemy aircraft on the 4th of July, 1940. Early in the action his left leg was shattered by a bomb, but he stood fast at his gun and went on firing with hand-gear only; for the ship's electric power had failed. Almost at once he was wounded again in many places. Between his bursts of fire he had time to reflect on the grievous injuries of which he was soon to die; but his great courage bore him up till the end of the fight, when he fell by the gun he had so valiantly served." This was only the second occasion that the Victoria Cross has been awarded for action in the United Kingdom.




Courtesy of Dave Stone

The Sea Cadets photographed during the late 1950s, when they were based at Grass Royal School.


Courtesy of Dave Stone

The Yeovil Sea Cadets photographed around 1961 outside the HQ in Central Road.


Courtesy of Dave Stone

Sea Cadet Dave Stone, photographed just before being the Mayor's Guard when RNAS Yeovilton was presented with the Freedom of Yeovil. (He hasn't changed a bit).


The following series of photographs, courtesy of Jack Sweet, show the 50th Anniversary parade of the Yeovil Sea Cadets, TS Mantle VC, on 6 August 2003.