Cadet Petty Officer Owles, left, and Able Cadet White flank a memorial plaque at a Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve Veterans’ Association memorial service in Christchurch in 1963. This photo was retrieved from TS Cornwell following the earthquake of 2011.
Mary Molyneux found a new direction in life through alternative education, a 243km trek traversing the South Island, Outward Bound, and the Sea Cadets. The TS Godley cadet told her story to The Press in May 2017. You can read the full article about her journey by clicking here.
Neville Peach was a Sea Cadet at TS Steadfast during World War II and went on to a near 30-year career in the Royal New Zealand Navy, retiring in 1977 with the rank of Lieutenant Commander. He joined the navy as a sick berth attendant in 1947 and saw active service in the Korean War, including on raiding parties, during which one of his shipmates, Able Seaman Marchioni, was killed.
Lieutenant Commander Peach’s full biography at the National Museum of the Royal New Zealand Navy can be found here.
Cadets from TS Steadfast made a direct contribution to the war effort during World War II, splicing wire ropes for bren-gun carriers, and establishing a mine-watching station on the shores of Lyttelton Harbour.
These photographs from The Press, 19 June 1942, shows cadets splicing ropes. The caption records that they gave up a night a week to prepare the wire ropes for the New Zealand armed forces.
A cadet from this era, Victor Fifield, spoke of this work in an interview he gave in 1996. He said the ropes were used on the bren-gun carriers, for a winch that kept the vehicle’s tracks up.
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
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.
Cadet enrolment began at the Navy League Hall in Christchurch later that month. Here is a Press report from 17 October.
These clippings from The Press were sourced through https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/.