Volunteer Cadet Corps mark 120th anniversary

The Volunteer Cadet Corps (VCC) celebrate their 120-year anniversary this weekend – and are still going strong.

The VCC has units operating in Portsmouth, Gosport, Fareham, Plymouth, Lympstone (nr. Exmouth), Arbroath (Scotland) and have expanded this with a new unit set to open in Chivenor, North Devon.

The aim of the VCC is to provide opportunities for young people to develop into responsible, dependable and useful members of society, employing the traditions and practises of the Royal Navy as the basis for their activities.

The VCC was ‘stood up’ with one unit at what was then the Royal Marines Artillery (RMA) barracks at Eastney in Portsmouth with the first night on February 14.

The 120th year of the VCC coincides with the appointment of a new Commanding Officer, Lt Col (VCC) Chris Spratt, Commander VCC.

We may not be able to celebrate properly just yet, but we will still mark our 120th anniversary and give thanks to the cadets and volunteers who have contributed to our amazing history.

Lieutenant Colonel (VCC) Chris Spratt

“My time in the VCC also started at Royal Marines Eastney, some 38 years ago, and my passion for what we do to help young people develop and prepare for life has never diminished. 

“At a critical time in our history, as we deal with the effects of Covid whilst also looking to expand our organisation, I’m looking forward to the challenge of steering the VCC into its 120th year. 

“We may not be able to celebrate properly just yet, but we will still mark our 120th anniversary and give thanks to the cadets and volunteers who have contributed to our amazing history.  Their legacy is the foundation of our future as we seek to ‘Meet The Challenge’ of modern times.”

First known as the Royal Marines Artillery Cadet Corps, not only was it the first cadet unit in what was to become the VCC but it was the first cadet unit formally established and recognised by the Admiralty.

It was in 1904 that the first Royal Naval Cadet unit was established at the then HMS Victory Royal Naval Barracks (now HMS Nelson).

It isn’t known when the title Volunteer Cadet Corps was first used, but the earliest record is from a Navy List in 1913.

The VCC are always looking for more cadets and more adult volunteers. Visit www.volunteercadetcorps.org