The first New Zealand Sea Cadet unit was established in Christchurch in 1929, but the Navy League had discussed doing so with Earl Jellicoe, the Governor-General, five years earlier.
According to newspaper reports at the time, the president of the Canterbury branch of the Navy League, J.J. Dougall, told Jellicoe the league hoped to get the government of the day to agree to establishing a Sea Cadet unit in 1924.
Admiral of the Fleet John Rushworth Jellicoe had commanded the Royal Navy’s Grand Fleet when it met Germany’s High Seas Fleet at the Battle of Jutland in 1916. He became Governor-General of New Zealand in 1920.
Dougall suggested that the new unit be called the “Jellicoe Cadets”.
The following press report is from The Evening Post, Wellington, on 20 November 1924.