Royal Navy Recognised Sea Scouts

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The defaced ensign flown by RN Recognised Sea Scout Groups

There are 105 Sea Scout Groups in the United Kingdom and one group in Gibraltar who are affiliated to the Royal Navy in order to foster a close relationship between the Royal Navy and young people in the Scout Association by making naval facilities and equipment accessible.[1] It is seen as a mark of great honour by the Groups holding RN Recognition.


Sea Scouting in the U.K. began in 1908, one year after the establishment of Scouting itself. During World War I Sea Scouts performed duties as coastal lookouts and messengers and, in recognition of these deeds, were formally recognised by the Admiralty Board in 1919, this allowed them access to Naval equipment and facilities whilst still remaining independent of any Naval control.

During World War II the scheme was converted so that Sea Scout groups who show themselves able to reach certain levels of proficiency could apply for stores and grants to help train young men in basic seamanship before entering military service. The scheme has been running since then, overseen by Second Sea Lord / Commander-in-Chief Naval Home Command and regulated by a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and the Scout Association.

Although there are some 425-450 Sea Scout groups throughout the U.K., the MoD recognises a maximum of 105. In order to remain in the scheme groups must maintain high standards. Any Sea Scout group can apply for recognition subject to certain criteria laid down in the MOA.[2]

Unlike the Sea Cadet Corps, Sea Scouts are not financially supported by the MoD, apart from an annual capitation grant to the Scout Association. The driving force behind groups applying for and remaining in the Royal Naval recognition scheme is the kudos and associated pride.


The Admiralty Pennant also worn by RN Recognised Sea Scout Groups

There are a number of privileges afforded to Groups that make it into the 105, including:

  • Leaders, Explorers, Scouts and Cubs wear Royal Navy Recognition Badge.
  • Group wears defaced Red Ensign and flies Admiralty Pennant.
  • Eligible to attend Big Four Events:
  • Eligible to utilise HMS BRISTOL's facilities and RN Sailing Centre Assets.
  • Visit Portsmouth Heritage area attractions at heavily discounted rates.
  • Annual payment to the Scout Association (Admiralty Fund) based on a per capita payment for each Scout and Explorer Scout plus an allowance for certain badges as detailed in the Memorandum of Agreement.
  • Eligible to apply for grants from Scout Association for purchase of equipment and boats.
  • On joining an initial Stores outfit is issued.


Groups are inspected every 18 months - 2 years by an RN Officer, This is a formal inspection, usually alternating between water-borne and land based, where the Groups can show off their skills and worthiness to be recognised by the RN.

Recognised groups[edit]

RN Number Group Website
01 4th Gillingham (Rainham) Sea Scouts
02 3rd Portchester Sea Scouts
03 1st Oulton Broad Sea Scouts
04 13th Ipswich Sea Scouts
05 4th Epping Forest South Sea Scouts
06 Newbold-on-Stour Sea Scouts
07 Guernsey Sea Scouts
08 3rd Wallsall Sea Scouts
09 2nd Cowes Sea Scouts
10 1st Batchworth Sea Scouts
11 1st Lytham St Annes Sea Scouts
12 15th Macclesfield Sea Scouts
13 5th Barry Sea Scouts
14 2nd Warwick Sea Scouts
15 2nd Whitstable
16 36th Epping Forest (South) Sea Scouts
17 18th Inverness Sea Scouts
18 4th Dovercourt Sea Scouts
19 1st West Bay Sea Scouts
20 4th/6th Leigh-on-Sea Sea Scouts
21 8th Faversham Sea Scouts
22 4th New Forest East (Hythe)
23 3rd/5th Lancing Sea Scouts
24 1st Hertford Sea Scouts
25 25th Southampton Sea Scouts
26 8th Norwich Sea Scouts
27 64th Birkenhead Sea Scouts
28 2nd Abingdon Sea Scout Group
29 6th Torbay Britannia Sea Scouts
30 Leander (Kingston) Sea Scouts
31 14th Tonbridge Sea Scouts
32 3rd South Shields Sea Scouts

33 3rd Shoreham Sea Scouts
34 9th Stafford Sea Scouts
35 3rd Frodsham Sea Scouts
36 1st Kings Norton Sea Scouts
37 1st Blackfords
38 11th Torbay Sea Scouts
39 4th Streatham Sea Scouts (Princess Marie Louise's Own)
40 3rd Bingley Sea Scouts
41 1st Avoch
42 10th Christchurch Sea Scouts
43 1st Corsham Sea Scouts
44 4th Heswall Sea Scouts
45 1st Lilliput Sea Scouts
46 2nd Beeston Sea Scouts
47 35th Bournemouth Sea Scouts
48 1st Southbourne Sea Scouts
49 Currently Vacant
50 Holy Trinity (Margate) Sea Scouts
51 1st Felpham Sea Scouts
52 17th Colchester Sea Scouts
53 6th Itchen South (Hamble) Sea Scouts
54 12th Halifax Sea Scouts
55 1st St Peter in Thanet
56 Petersham & Ham Sea Scouts
57 1st Clifton Sea Scouts
58 1st/10th Sutton Coldfield Sea Scouts (Indomitable)
59 8th Worthing Sea Scouts
60 4th Thames Ditton (Ajax) Sea Scouts
61 2nd Durrington Sea Scouts
62 9th New Forest South (Lymington) Sea Scouts
63 1st Watchet Sea Scouts
64 19th Exeter Sea Scouts
65 1st Bungay Sea Scouts
66 21st Sunderland Sea Scouts
67 6th Ramsgate Sea Scouts
68 1st Blofield & Brundall Sea Scouts
69 1st Luton Sea Scouts
70 11th Norwich Sea Scouts
71 1st Thorpe St Andrew Sea Scouts
72 1st Surbiton Sea Scouts
73 3rd Chalkwell Bay Sea Scouts
74 1st Molesey (Jaguar) Sea Scouts
75 4th Knowle Sea Scout Group
76 2nd Deal Sea Scouts
77 1st Cleethorpes Sea Scouts
78 30th Norwich Sea Scouts
79 1st Cogenhoe Sea Scouts
80 1st Park Gate Sea Scouts
81 Dartford Cambria Sea Scouts
82 5th Gosport Sea Scouts
83 1st Reading Sea Scouts
84 3rd Poole Sea Scouts
85 17th Sutton Coldfield Sea Scouts
86 33rd Lancaster Sea Scouts
87 1st Barry Sea Scouts
88 1st Warsash Sea Scout Group
89 9th Itchen Sea Scouts
90 29th Glasgow Sea Scouts
91 6th Newark Sea Scouts
92 2nd Fareham Sea Scouts
93 5th Woodbridge Sea Scouts
94 15th Long Eaton Sea Scouts
95 1st Cuddington Sea Scouts
96 4th Canvey Island Sea Scouts
97 6th Barry Sea Scouts
98 1st Standlake & Cokethorpe
99 4th New Forest North Sea Scouts
100 6th Falmouth Sea Scouts
101 5th Gibraltar Sea Scouts
102 33rd Oxford (Kidlington) Sea Scouts
103 1st Hampton Hill Sea Scouts (Achilles)
104 Hydra ESSU
105 31st Itchen North (Amazon)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ RN Community Website - Sea Scouts Page
  2. ^ Memorandum Of Agreement Between The Ministry Of Defence And The Scout Association For Royal Navy Recognised Groups Of Sea Scouts, revised 1999
  3. ^ "Home".

External links[edit]