Canterbury SCC bell


The bell of the Canterbury Division Sea Cadet Corps, still in use.



Sea Cadets foundation, 1929

The Sea Cadets in Christchurch were founded by a senior military officer, Colonel Vere Staunton Smyth, formerly of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment. Smyth had arrived in New Zealand some time before 1907 and served during World War I in the New Zealand Rifle Brigade.

Here is how the new organisation was reported in The Press on 1 October 1929

1939-10-01 The Press

Smyth was concerned that the article placed emphasis on cadets going on to join the Navy or the Volunteer Reserves, and did not want this expectation to limit recruiting, so he penned a letter to the editor which was published three days later.

1939-10-04 The Press

Cadet enrolment began at the Navy League Hall in Christchurch later that month. Here is a Press report from 17 October.

1929-10 Enrolment

These clippings from The Press were sourced through



Quail Island camp 1944

1944 Quail Island camp

Sea Cadets pose for photos on an annual training camp at Quail Island in 1944, as pictured in The Press on 24 January that year.

Members of the Canterbury Division of the Sea Cadet Corps, the forerunner of TS Steadfast, are in the top photo. The bottom photo shows cadets from the Otago Division. Auckland and Wellington divisions also attended the camp.

1944 Quail Island camp commanders

The camp was commanded by Lieutenant Commander H.B. Anderson, seen right, talking to Commander T.S. Critchley, the Naval Officer in Charge at Lyttelton.