May was a busy month for T.S Whaddon, we’ve seen the resumption of boating & competitive first aid alongside fundraising and recruitment activities in Central Milton Keynes.

The main event was the much-anticipated presentation of the Thomas Gray Memorial Trophy. This trophy is a huge, mounted silver plate which is awarded for the second most efficient Sea Cadet Unit in the UK. Out of approximately 400 units across the UK, Milton Keynes Sea Cadets & Royal Marines Cadets came runners up to our good friends T.S Saumarez, from Twickenham who won the Canada Trophy, which is for the most efficient unit.

Our cadets and volunteers achieved a rare 100% for their annual evaluation, which is the measured performance of the Unit, which includes aspects such as:

  • Average Boating Hours per cadet (63 hours per cadet!)
  • Courses & qualifications gained.
  • Community event & engagement hours

Our ship’s company is around 40  uniformed and non-uniformed volunteers, who support around 80 cadets from across Milton Keynes led by Commanding Officer, Lieutenant(SCC) Joy Tilley RNR and her team.

TS Whaddon Ships Company
Ship’s Company, Esteemed Guests & very large trophy

Lt. Tilley & Trustee Chair Caroline Sears welcomed aboard the Commander Maritime Reserves & Royal Navy Cadet Forces, Commodore Jo Adey and Captain Neil Downing, Captain of the Sea Cadet Corps along with unit friends and dignitaries to share in an evening of tradition and celebration.

The presentation evening included a full parade inspection by our esteemed VIPs, Commodore Adey, Captain Downing, Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire Debbie Brock, Deputy Mayor of Milton Keynes Marie Bradburn,  Wolverton Mayor Bridget Lewis,  Secretary of Bucks Uniformed Youth Rex Stevens, Mimi Halker our Buckinghamshire Armed Forces Champion.

Other armed forces were represented by Lt Colonel Michael Hrycak, Buckinghamshire Rifles, Lt. Johanna Hrycak Armed Forced Covenant Project Manager for Milton Keynes City Council who were very much welcomed along to share in our evening.

After the inspection, our VIPs were treated to tea, cakes, made by our Leading Cadets, and a tour of the unit where cadets did classroom skills displays, demonstrating the skills for life that the Sea Cadet & Royal Marine Cadet programme provides to young people across the country.

The evening was live-streamed to parents, extended family and our broader Sea Cadet family throughout the evening allowing them to share in the achievements of the young people.

Prior to the Evening Colours ceremony presentations took place with several cadet and volunteer achievements recognised & presented by Commodore Adey & Captain Downing culminating in the unveiling and presentation of the Thomas Gray Memorial Trophy.

“Very many congratulations…Absolute phenomenal team effort. The trophy serves as a reminder of what you have achieved this year.” -Commodore Adey

“This Unit has achieved an amazing record this year, I can honestly say I have only seen it happen twice. That’s a unit that achieved 100% in it’s effectiveness score…You should be very, very proud of what you have achieved, not just this year, but on a continual basis.” – Captain Downing

It’s important this Volunteer Week (3rd-9th June 2024) to appreciate the volunteers who make T.S Whaddon as successful as it is, without whom there is no T.S Whaddon. Thousands of hours are donated across the year to offer our cadets as many opportunities as possible, from seamanship to boating, onshore and offshore, Duke of Edinburgh Awards, the all important first aid skills, the Sea Cadets offers important life skills to young people and adults.

If you would like to volunteer with the Sea Cadets please contact our Ship’s Office [email protected].

If you are interested in your young person joining the Sea cadets you can register your interest:
Nationally: Apply – Sea Cadets (
Milton Keynes: [email protected]

Additional Context

The Thomas Gray Memorial Trophy is part of the Canada Trophy awards process. In order to be eligible for the Canada or Thomas Gray trophies a Unit must be awarded the Stephenson Trophy. The Stephenson Trophy is awards to the best unit in their respective area.

Milton Keynes Sea Cadets is part of Southern Area, and we have achieved Stephenson Trophy status two years in a row 2022 & 2023.

Social Media & Contacts

Facebook: Facebook
Youtube: Milton Keynes Sea Cadets & Royal Marines Cadets – YouTube
Email: [email protected]

Milton Keynes Sea Cadets & Royal Marines Cadets is an independent registered charity, part of the Marine Society & Sea Cadets.

Similar Posts