The Nautical Training Corps (NTC) is a uniformed youth organisation and registered charity, based in the south of England.
The Corps aims to help young people develop their full potential through nautically based training.
Opportunities are provided to explore a wide range of experiences and activities including; sailing, canoeing, sports, climbing, marching band and shooting. These are available at the Corps' local divisions, its two national activity centres and other organisations' facilities. Many units offer their cadets the opportunity to take part in the Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme.
The Corps now stands at some twenty units, serving the youth of the south of England from the age of seven to eighteen. Cadets are encouraged to progress through ranks, based upon those employed in the Royal Navy leading to instructor and command positions.
Currently over four-hundred cadets and more than One hundred Officers, Instructors and adult volunteers comprise the Corps which also operates sailing and boating centres.
In 2009, the Ministry of Defence granted the NTC a 'defaced ensign' - the first in nearly 40 years!
The Corps Ensign bears the Cross of the Union Flag and the Corps Badge the Tudor Rose, symbols of the faith and traditions of our country and adopted by the Corps to indicate our allegiance to these ideals. Our members wear a uniform closely based on that of the Royal Navy.
Our present day uniform and training are both based on the great traditions that grew up through the centuries from the noble deeds of our great sea adventurers. Whilst discipline is integral to the training offered it is only part. Above all else the Corps is a youth organisation.
Our units use a structured training programme, based around a nautical theme, to encourage young people to stretch and develop themselves. Theoretical knowledge means little, unless you are able to use it. Young people are encouraged to use their new skills in a practical way, whether it is map reading on the hills, rock climbing, sailing a dinghy, playing in a marching band or enjoying one of the many other activities offered by the Corps.
Safety and child protection are paramount. The Corps has no paid staff, all instruction being provided by unpaid but trained and vetted volunteers. In addition to all the Corps' instructors and other staff being volunteers, front line local divisions rely on support from volunteers for help with fund-raising, charity management, premises maintenance and assistance at deck nights and outside events and activities.
The Nautical Training Corps is a self-supported organisation, relying on fundraising and donations from the general public or other local communities. Contrary to common assumption, the NTC is not connected in any way to the Sea Cadets or Scouts.
Members of The Corps' governing body, the ‘National Council’ oversee the charity's framework and assets as Trustees. Providing top level management and direction, the National Council, deal with the day to day running of the organisation. Click here to read more about the National Council
Uniformed, operational management is the responsibility of the Chief of Staff. He is supported by Regional Commanders, each overseeing the activities of 3 to 5 units, and HQ Officers; he is answerable to the National Council. Click here to read more about our Command Structure.
The Nautical Training Corps was founded on 19 May 1944 by Commodore, F P (Frank) Froést-Carr OBE NTC (1888 - 1975).
The NTC's first 'unit' was Training Ship Nautilus in Brighton, based at the old Richmond Road School. The unit took its name from HMS Nautilus, which had been Froést-Carr's first seagoing ship in the Royal Navy. TS Nautilus is still open and serving local youth in Brighton, although has now relocated to Chesham Road.
This unit comprised 140 cadets and just 2 other officers. "First Brighton Division" was followed by "First London Division", TS Enterprise. The first National HQ was based at Pavilion Buildings, Brighton, underneath Brighton Chess Club and by the entrance to the Royal Pavilion. It later moved to the Old Shoreham Road and Shoreham Harbour.
The Corps spread throughout the south of England and beyond, particularly in Sussex, Hampshire and south London; there have also been units as far afield as Acton, Northampton, Milton Keynes and Derby. In all there have been over 64 units, or 'Training Ships', but the exact number is unknown as the records of some units have been lost over time. These have included an all-girl unit at TS Tudor Rose, and an all-boy unit, TS Collingwood, both at Langley Green in Crawley. All training ships have been named after actual ships of the Royal Navy.
Over the past six decades, thousands of young people have learned seafaring and musical skills through the Corps. The Nautical Training Corps now stands at some twenty units, still covering the South Coast and up in-land towards London. Units can often be seen supporting local communities by heading up parade and carnival processions and providing entertainment at festivals and local events, which are always well received. In the past few years the NTC has celebrated many anniversaries with ships from across the Corps featuring in local news. Articles on these events can be found within the news blog.
Frank Froést-Carr, the son of a Scotland Yard police inspector, joined the Royal Navy as a 15 year old boy entrant in the closing years of sail. He joined HMS Lion, at Devonport, a training ship for boy entrants. He completed his initial training in HMS Implacable, before joining HMS Nautilus for deep-sea training.
In his day the life was hard and the discipline harsh, but the service fostered quality of life, comradeship and loyalty, producing a man of stalwart character and sterling worth. In his nineteen years service in the RN he rose to Petty Officer, serving in many parts of the world and seeing action in the First World War. After leaving the service in 1926 he joined the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve. He rose to Lieutenant Commander, later resigning his commission to start a new career in the Youth Service.
Froést-Carr formed the Corps in response to his and many others' concerns for the country in the aftermath of war, which was then still raging. By now a probation officer, he observed that "Daily the flower of our young manhood was being taken from us .... many homes were broken up and a great many young people outside their school hours were not receiving the benefits of training in any youth organisation." He dreaded a repeat of the experience that had followed the 1914-18 war, with confusion and futility leading to degradation and demoralisation of the young; he yearned instead to see the nation "...rise, triumphant like the Phoenix from the ashes of a crumbling world, to a brighter future and an age in which Britain would be greater than she has ever been before".
Having spent a large part of his life in the Royal Navy, seeing it turn out "...men, in the best sense of the word, imbued with all the virtues of true patriotism and the qualities that made the British sailor honoured, respected and liked throughout the world" he decided that his contribution would be to found a youth organisation, based on sea training and discipline, to encourage the qualities of good citizenship. The foundation was the climax of many months work scheming out the organisation's constitution, regulations and training, all in what little time he could spare from war duties. A great believer in co-operation and the value of a simple code of conduct in the form of a promise, he wrote "Know Your Corps", a short but fascinating insight into his thinking in setting up the Corps, and was the principal author of the Official Handbook.
For many years he had served as the County Commissioner for Sea Scouts in Sussex and believed, a little controversially for the time, that youth organisations should cater for both boys and girls. He was also at one time a welfare officer to Merchant Navy apprentices.
In 1973 the value of his service to youth was recognised by the award of an OBE. In 1975, he published "Spun Yarn & Bell Bottoms", a fascinating story of life on the lower deck in an old square-rigged training ship in the early years of the last century, and on a steam cruiser up to the end of World War One.
Our first and longest-serving Commodore, he remained Commodore of the Nautical Training Corps until his death in 1975.
National Headquarters is a building that serves as the main base of operations and serves as the organisations main offices for administrative and training staff, including Resources Department. National Headquarters takes responsibility for the overall success of the organsisation and is also referred to as the NHQ.
72 Wick Farm Road,