`

'It would be really cool' - Sea Cadets back campaign for new HMS Sheffield

0
Have your say

Sea Cadets in the city have backed the campaign for a new HMS Sheffield, saying it would be 'cool', a source of 'pride' and a 'boost' for the region.

The Sheffield branch of the youth organisation is flourishing, with more than 100 members across the Junior Sea Cadets, Sea Cadets and Royal Marines Cadets.

Sheffield Sea Cadets are backing the campaign for a fourth HMS Sheffield

Sheffield Sea Cadets are backing the campaign for a fourth HMS Sheffield

Its chairman, Councillor Terry Fox, is firmly behind the bid to get one of the Navy's new submarine hunters named after the city.

READ MORE: Big names get behind campaign for new HMS Sheffield
He told how the organisation had enjoyed a 'very close relationship' with the previous three HMS Sheffields, nicknamed the Shiny Sheff, with the ships' crews having welcomed cadets on board while they were in dock.

The cadets play a key role in the city's annual commemoration for those killed on board the second HMS Sheffield when it was hit by a missile during the Falklands War, and several training officers at the branch served on that ship or its successor.

Coun Fox said: "The commissioning of a new HMS Sheffield would be a great honour for the city and the Sheffield Sea & Royal Marines Cadets.

A model of HMS Sheffield at Sheffield Sea Cadets' HQ in Pitsmoor

A model of HMS Sheffield at Sheffield Sea Cadets' HQ in Pitsmoor

READ MORE: 'My pride at role in city's last warship'
"As the sun goes down over the yardarm, let's hope the Royal Navy spares a thought for the Shiny Sheff."

His words were echoed by the cadets, who meet each week at the branch's Falkland Training Centre, at the top of Rutland Road, in Pitsmoor.

Junior Sea Cadet Molly Webster joined a year-and-a-half ago and has enjoyed taking part in numerous activities including creating wildlife shelters for hedgehogs and other creatures.

READ MORE: MP backs campaign for new HMS Sheffield to recognise city's 'extraordinary contribution' to Navy
The 11-year-old, from Darnall, said: "It would be really cool to have another HMS Sheffield because there aren't many cities which can say they have their own ship."

Junior Sea Cadet Molly Webster

Junior Sea Cadet Molly Webster

Royal Marines Cadet Rhys Howcutt helped his unit finish in the top six out of some 400 competing in the Gibraltar Cup, an annual test of cadets' all-round skills which includes pulling a Land Rover.

The 17-year-old, of Jordanthorpe, said: "It would give cadets a real sense of pride being able to step on board an HMS Sheffield again and becoming part of that tradition."

READ MORE: Sheffield Sea Cadets celebrate 80th anniversary with sneaky birthday surprise
Sea Cadet Lucy White, who has her heart set on one day joining the Navy, was selected as guard commander for a recent area drill competition and is a two-time winner of the national cadets football tournament.

The 13-year-old, from Pitsmoor, said: "It would mean a lot to cadets being able to go on board an HMS Sheffield, and it would also raise the profile of the city and provide an economic boost for the region."

Royal Marines Cadet Rhys Howcutt

Royal Marines Cadet Rhys Howcutt

Able Cadet Tom Gregory is a keen sailor and in 2016 won the prestigious Peregrine Trophy for the best photo by a cadet.

The 16-year-old, from Handsworth, said: "I've taken part in the HMS Sheffield commemorative parades over the last four years, which helps me appreciate just how much having another HMS Sheffield would mean to cadets and to the city as a whole."

The Navy has announced plans for eight new Type 26 frigates, the first of which are already being built.

The first three have been named after Glasgow, Belfast and Cardiff, leaving five slots available for other cities.

A plaque commemorating those who were killed while serving on the second HMS Sheffield during the Falklands War

A plaque commemorating those who were killed while serving on the second HMS Sheffield during the Falklands War

Sea Cadet Lucy White

Sea Cadet Lucy White

Able Cadet Tom Gregory

Able Cadet Tom Gregory