Affiliations

Affiliations

HMS Kent is proud of her many strong, warm and enduring affiliations. For convenience, we have provided a link to their appropriate Home Sites where available:

The Cinque Ports

As the name Cinque Ports ( from the Norman French for five and pronounced "sink" not "sank") suggests, the Confederation originally comprised the five ports of Hastings, Romney, Hythe, Dover and Sandwich. Under the system of ship service, the Ports were required to supply 57 ships, each with a crew of 21 men and a boy, for 15 days every year.

These ships were used not only in warfare, but also to transport the King, members of his entourage and his armies to and from Normandy and other parts of the Continent. Ship service was an onerous duty and the five original head ports enlisted the help of neighbouring towns and villages, which were known as members or limbs, to help them fulfil their quotas of ships and crew.

At one time, there were 23 limbs covering an extensive area from Seaford, in the west, to Brightlingsea on the Essex coast. For many years there was little centralised control over the activities of the Cinque Ports as a whole.

It was not until the start of the 13th Century, after the loss of Normandy by the English Crown, that the need was perceived for increased supervision of the coastal defences, especially in time of war. Amongst the privileges granted to the Cinque Ports, the Crown had surrendered its rights to wrecks and findals (goods recovered at sea or washed-up on the shore).

This led to disputes over acts of piracy committed under the guise of salving wrecks and the King was drawn in to resolving these disputes; a task often delegated to the Lord Warden and Constable. By the 14th Century, the Lord Warden played an increasing role in naval affairs and as Admiral of the Cinque Ports was responsible for mustering the fleet, as well as exercising discipline.

This led to the establishment of the Admiralty Court of the Cinque Ports. The Lord Warden's interest in these matters was, no doubt, strengthened by his enjoying a share of findals and goods recovered from pirates!

The final blow to the power once held by the Cinque Ports was the eventual formation of a real and full-time Navy.

Now purely an honorary and ceremonial position, in years past, the Lord Warden and Admiral of the Cinque Ports and Constable of Dover Castle was one of the most powerful figures in England.

The Royal Tank Regiment

On the 13 June 1900 Major General Sir Ernest Swinton was serving with the British Forces in the Boer War. On that precise date, he visualised the requirement for an armoured fighting vehicle to defeat the destructive power of the machine gun.

The tank, a revolutionary new weapon system, born of General Swinton's vision, was to break the stalemate of trench warfare and the dominance of the machine gun of the battlefields of Flanders sixteen years later.

The story of The Royal Tank Regiment (RTR) is one of struggle, triumph and achievement. Its origins are a mere three-quarters of a century old, but those years have seen the stalemate of trench warfare overcome, the restoration of mobility and the establishment of the tank and mechanised forces, as a dominant factor in battle.

The tank reaffirmed its position as the decisive weapon on the battlefield during the Gulf War. The present Royal Tank Regiment, composed of two regular regiments, is the direct heir to the original armoured car pioneers of 1914, the Naval Brigade and the RNAS squadron which augmented the British Expeditionary Forces for the defence of Antwerp in August of that year.

By the end of World War 2 there were 24 regiments of the RTR and they had seen service in France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Austria, Italy, Sicily, Malta, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Greece, Crete, Algeria, Abyssinia, Sudan, Palestine, Iraq, Persia, Jordan, India and Burma.

Reduced once more to eight regular regiments after the war, the tank has still continued to demonstrate its importance on the modern battlefield, with The Royal Tank Regiment seeing action in Aden, Borneo, Malaya, Egypt, Cyprus, Korea and the Gulf.

The Regiment has also had units stationed in Germany, Libya, Hong Kong, England and Northern Ireland. However, as the recent Gulf War yet again illustrated most clearly, it is the quality, bravery and high degree of expertise of the tank crews which was, and still is, the real battle winner.

Throughout the tank's history the most important element has been the crewmen, who together make up this close knit team of professionals.

The value of the tank was reinforced again as late as the Summer of 1999 as tanks from a variety of units, led by RTR officers, spearheaded the allied entry into Kosovo as part of the Fourth Armoured Brigade.

The RTR’s own Web Pages provide a fascinating full history of the Regiment: Website: www.army.mod.uk/2rtr

C Squadron Kent & Sharpshooters Yeomanry

Should you like to know more about the Kent & Sharpshooters Yeomanry: Website: www.army.mod.uk/ceremonialandheritage 

No 6 Squadron Royal Air Force

Formed at Farnborough on 31 January 1914, No 6 Squadron, RFC, worked up with fixed-wing aircraft and also had responsibility for the Kite Flight, transferred from No 1 Squadron. After arriving in France in August 1914, the Squadron immediately lost its aircraft to other under-strength units.

In July 1915, equipped with BE2s, Captain G L Hawker was awarded the Victoria Cross (VC) for outstanding courage and determination during 11 months of continuous operational flying.

The Squadron finished the war flying RE8s, and shortly after the end of the War, it transferred to Iraq and re-equipped with Bristol Fighters. During the following years, it undertook operations against various uprisings before transferring to Egypt in 1929 and receiving Fairey Gordon bombers.

Following increased tension between Arabs and Jews No 6 Squadron moved to Ramleh in Palestine during 1937 with Hawker Hardys. During the early part of World War 2, the Squadron and its Lysanders remained in Palestine, but detached aircraft to the Western Desert until 1941 when Hurricanes were on strength. Further action in the Desert on anti-tank duties continued from 1942 until the end of the North African campaign.

After converting to rocket-firing Hurricanes in 1944, the Squadron moved to Italy and flew the remainder of the War over the Balkans. A brief stint in Palestine after the War as followed by a move to Cyprus with Tempests.

During 1948 the unit received Vampires and a series of moves around the Middle East followed before finally arriving back in Cyprus with Venoms. Before receiving Canberras in 1956, No 6 Squadron took part in the Suez operation with its Venoms.

The Squadron finally left the Middle east in 1969 when it moved to Coningsby to become the first Phantom Squadron. During 1974, No 6 Squadron moved to its current base at Coltishall and re-equipped with Jaguar fighter-bombers.

If you would like to know more about No 6 Squadron: Website: www.raf.mod.uk/history

Royal Naval Association, Maidstone Branch

If you would like to know more about the Royal Naval Association: Website: www.royal-naval-association.co.uk

Royal Naval Association, Folkstone Branch

If you would like to know more about the Royal Naval Association: Website: www.royal-naval-association.co.uk

Sea Cadets Corps

As some of you will know, in the wider community the Royal Navy is involved in the personal development of around 25,000 young people. The University Royal Naval Units give students a taste of naval life and the opportunity to acquire some seamanship qualifications.

More importantly, the Sea Cadets provide an exciting introduction to the maritime environment. So, no matter where you live in the UK, there is a good chance you we will know someone involved with the Royal Navy.

Despite this, we do have a problem with sea blindness – people know they have a good navy but don’t know what we do.

The enthusiasm and commitment you see in every Sea Cadet Corps unit gives the lie to the idea that the youth of today are in some way not up to it. The Corps is a wonderful institution - It teaches discipline and responsibility; teamwork and comradeship; and valuable skills.

It provides some of the recruits for the Royal Navy and the merchant navy that we need so much. But more than this - it sends out into life people equipped with a ‘can do’ attitude, a positive approach to life and the ability to muck in and contribute to society.

In the words of the First Sea Lord, Sea Cadets ‘fly the flag for the Royal Navy where it counts most - in the heart of the community.’

Combined Cadet Force

The Royal Navy Section provides training in leadership and seamanship. Training includes nautical elements such as sailing, navigation, canoeing, yachting (cadets will have the opportunity to obtain nationally recognised sailing and power-boating qualifications right up to instructor level) as well as the usual CCF training in shooting, and orienteering activities.

The Royal Navy provides a wide range of camps and courses that last about a week during Easter and the Summer holidays. These courses range from sailing (both dinghy and yachting), flying courses, diving, shooting, and submarine courses.

There are courses with the Royal Marines, which include rock-climbing, abseiling and adventure training. The list of activities on offer runs to about thirty different types.

Each CCF Royal Navy Section has an affiliated ship. Selected cadets, every year, visit HMS Excellent or HMS Raleigh during which they can expect helicopter flying, fire fighting, fast patrol boat trips, ship and submarine tours.

Cadets will be expected to go on at least one camp or course as a recruit and by the end of their first year should have passed their first set of tests and become an Able Seaman.

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