In 1942 the Royal Canadian Navy began to take a greater interest in the sea cadet movement and as a result the armed forces became more deeply involved in the cadet training program. In addition to financial support the navy department provided further training aids and assistance in supplying cadet uniforms.
The 1942 training syllabus of the Winnipeg corps included squad drill, musketry, elementary seamanship, bends and hitches, first aid, sign signalling and boat drill. To facilitate the boat work, the Manitoba branch of the Navy League, had increased the corps compliment of cutters to six.
Enrollment in the sea cadet corps John Travers Cornwell V. C. reached a new high of 600 cadets during 1942. To facilitate this dramatic increase in the corps strength the unit was divided into three ships companies, two of which paraded at the Kelvin High School and one at the Macharay School. A parallel increase in the Winnipeg naval reserve had forced the sea cadets from the R.C.N.V.R. barracks. As a result, the Navy League, had successfully approached the Winnipeg School Board for assistance in acquiring suitable quarters.
While it is impossible to estimate the exact number of ex-Winnipeg sea cadets who had joined the armed forces, records indicated at least 600 had done so. In 1942,44 cadets and eight officers left the corps to enlist. Two of these officers received commissions in the R.C.N.V.R.
The band, under the able tuition of Lt. W.A. Cramp, continued to be an outstanding feature of the corps. At the request of the Minister of Naval Defence, it made two tours in 1942. The first, during the Easter holidays, covered Regina, Calgary, Banff, Edmonton and Saskatoon. The second, early in July, included Ottawa, Toronto, Hamilton, London and several other points in Ontario. It was hoped that both these tours would result in a stimulation of interest in the sea cadet movement and the navy generally. These tours are reviewed in more detail on page 53.
Mr. T. Wetton, Mr. H. Metcalfe and Mr. H. Perkins of Winnipeg kindly provided the photographs for 1942.
Winnipeg Sea Cadet Band
As was mentioned in the resume of 1942 activities, the highlight of the year was the band tours to western and eastern Canada. These tours were financed by the Department of National Defence and were organized by the Navy League on the request of the Honourable Angus L. MacDonald, Minister for Naval Services.
The western tour, which took place during the Easter school vacation, included such cities as Regina, Calgary, Edmonton and Saskatoon. The format throughout the tour usually consisted of a parade in the downtown area, at the conclusion of which an open air concert would be held. The band, supported by various cadet variety acts and instrumental solos, would make a further concert appearance in the evening at a local theatre.
Included in the eastern tour was Ottawa, Toronto, Hamilton, London and other leading cities in Ontario. The band, consisting of 35 musicians, was augmented by four soloists, Kenneth Winters, boy soprano; Ted Komar, accordion; Charles Leslie, piano; and Douglas Rain, elocutionist. Accompanying the cadets was bandmaster Lt. W.A. Cramp, Sub. Lt. T. Wetton, Sub. Lt. C. Hyslop and Mr. J.R.K. Millen of the Manitoba division of the Navy League.
During the visits to the eastern cities the cadets maintained a very busy schedule. Many public appearances were made in all cities in an effort to stimulate interest in naval activities. The Ottawa visit was representative of all the stops on the tour.
In the afternoon the cadets marched to Parliament Hill where they were inspected by the Hon. A.L. MacDonald and other members of parliament. The inspection was followed by an impromptu concert which was repeated for over 3000 spectators in the evening.
Upon their return to Winnipeg the band was greeted at the C.P.R. station by a crowd of friends and admirers. A group of officials headed by Mayor Queen and representing all levels of municipal and provincial government congratulated the boys on a job well done.
The success of this tour was due in the most part to the detailed planning of Lt. W.A. Cramp and Mr. J.R.K. Millen. However, without the spirit and dedication of the band members the tour would not have been possible.
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