Volunteering with the Sea Cadets in wartime

Remembering the uniforms of the day

By Wally Kersey

Sea Cadets at the weekend

At the age of 12, I was a volunteer in the Naval Reserve, so when war started, they disbanded us at the King Alfred in Hove and then I joined the Brighton Sea Cadets, and later the Hove Sea Cadets in 1942. Two evenings a week I was an apprentice at Caffyns' garage, I went to night school two nights a week and then Sea Cadets at the weekend, so I was either in cadet gear or work gear, I didn't get to go out much socialising. When I did wear mufti, it was: flannels, a jacket, pullover, shirt and tie. I always had clean, polished shoes. I was 13 when my dad was killed in the war. He was strict and made me learn needlework and cooking in case of emergencies.

Photo:Wally and Nancy Kersey - Hangleton 1940s

Wally and Nancy Kersey - Hangleton 1940s

Blue hats in wartime

The cadet uniform was blue serge bell-bottom trousers, blue jean collar, 3 white bands around it, a Nelson scarf, there were seven creases in the trousers for the seven seas, also so you could fold them up to put in your locker, cos of space on the ship, you turned them inside out, folded them up and did the same for the jacket and collar. We wore blue hats in the wartime. In the summer, from May to October, we wore white hats, which we had to white paste with 'Blanco'; you could also get 'Blanco' in khaki colour. Nowadays everything is plastic. With those hats, if it rained, the 'Blanco' used to come off. We had starched collars and hot collars, which we had to do ourselves. I starched Nancy's (my wife) knickers one day without telling her!

This page was added by Susan Morrison on 17/12/2008.
Comments about this page

Well done Sue very nice photos!
Juliette Goddard(Crawley)

By Juliette Goddard
On 17/12/2007

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