Poole Sea Cadets of the past urged to come forward to help celebrate 75th birthday

ON THE MARCH: Sea Cadets at Plymouth Hoe in 2010. Below, Poole unit inspection in 1940

Poole Sea Cadets of the past urged to come forward to help celebrate 75th birthday

MAKING WAVES: Robert Syms MP, Cllr Judy Butt, Captain Malcolm Shakesby (president of cadet unit) and Christine Pyatt at the opening of Poole Sea Cadet’s of new classroom and boatshed in 2011

PRACTICE: Cadets out on the waves and, right, tuning up the band

Poole Sea Cadets of the past urged to come forward to help celebrate 75th birthday

First published in News by

AN APPEAL has gone out for former Poole Sea Cadets to help the unit celebrate its 75th birthday in February.

TS Drax at Sterte, has helped many a youngster set sail on a naval or service career and now the unit is asking former members to get in touch and share their memories.

“We are appealing for anyone in Poole who has been involved in it over the last 75 years to get in touch with us,” said president, Malcolm Shakesby.

Founded in 1939, the year the Second World War started, the unit was originally on the water’s edge at Holes Bay.

In the 1980s the land was filled in to create the Holes Bay Road and the unit in Sterte Avenue West found itself a little further from the sea.

It currently holds burgee status, meaning that it is one of the best in the country. And its band, runner-up in a national competition, takes part in many events in and around the town.

“I’m quite proud of them really.

“They do put Poole on the map,” said Capt Shakesby.

Sea Cadets date back to the Crimean War when sailors returning home from the campaign formed Naval Lads’ Brigades. The aim was to help orphans created by the conflict, who ended up on the back streets of sea ports.

The first brigade was established at Whitstable in 1854 and in 1919 had grown to 34. By the outbreak of WWII, Poole became one of 100 units around the UK, supporting 10,000 cadets with training in seafaring skills.

The unit has 70 members with 30-40 turning out regularly. As well as learning boating skills they have the chance to secure qualifications.

“I started my sea going career there,” said Capt Shakesby. “I wanted to go to sea since the age of five. My career was mapped out. At about 12 I started to go to TS Drax, nautical school and then I went to sea.”

He was chief officer on a cargo ferry the Duke of Anglia, sailing from Dartford to Zeebrugge when the Townsend Thoresen ferry the Herald of Free Enterprise, capsized in the Belgian port in March 1987.

His captain told him to take a lifeboat and crew and try to help and he ended up controlling the rescue operation overnight. The disaster claimed 188 lives and for his actions he received the MBE.

The 75th anniversary of Poole Sea Cadets takes place on February 7 and anyone who has memories and photographs to share can contact Malcolm Shakesby on 01305 853334 at shipsmar@winfrith.net or contact the unit at Sterte.

Comments (4)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

1:45pm Wed 22 Jan 14

CallOfDuty says...

Sea cadets put Poole on the map. LOL
Sea cadets put Poole on the map. LOL CallOfDuty
  • Score: -3

4:24pm Wed 22 Jan 14

phonehome says...

Great Organisation, keep going!
Great Organisation, keep going! phonehome
  • Score: 6

10:23am Thu 23 Jan 14

TheDistrict says...

A well worthy organisation. Being an ex Cadet myself, joining the Navy, and returning to my unit as the Commanding Officer, I can say with experience that the Sea Cadets put me in good stead for what was a wonderful career. Good Luck TS Drax, Poole, for another 75 years.
A well worthy organisation. Being an ex Cadet myself, joining the Navy, and returning to my unit as the Commanding Officer, I can say with experience that the Sea Cadets put me in good stead for what was a wonderful career. Good Luck TS Drax, Poole, for another 75 years. TheDistrict
  • Score: 2

10:40pm Thu 23 Jan 14

Yankee1 says...

Not a Sea Cadet ever, myself; I am always impressed when they turn out. Have a great 75th!
Not a Sea Cadet ever, myself; I am always impressed when they turn out. Have a great 75th! Yankee1
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree