Busy time for URNU East Scotland

January 18, 2024
Trafalgar Guest Night.

The final URNU East Scotland term of 2023 saw a successful round of recruiting with 27 Officer Cadets (OCdts) joining the Unit, and some leavers starting their Naval journeys at BRNC Dartmouth.

Notable achievements in the latter part of the year included the annual Trafalgar Guest Night (main image) held at Edinburgh City Chambers on 20 October. Other achievements (in pictures, below):

Officer Cadets in a small boat at Dartmouth.
Six OCdts supported the Port of Dartmouth Royal Regatta from 20-27 August.
Officer Cadets on a trail.
Eighteen OCdts headed to Rothiemurchus Lodge in the Cairngorms to take part in sports and activities from 11-13 October.
An Officer Cadet steers a P2000.
Three OCdts put to sea on the P2000 Patrol Boat, HMS ARCHER, from 23-30 October as she contributed to a large multi-national Exercise off the Scottish west coast. The Unit also supported another P2000, HMS CHARGER, out of Faslane with her sea training preparations.
URNU ES cadets marching in Edinburgh.
November saw participation in Remembrance events. The first of these, on 4 November, was the Dundee Festival of Remembrance where the Unit supported a service with four OCdts. For the main events on 12 November, the Unit represented in Edinburgh (above) with twenty-two OCdts and Staff, Dundee (HMS UNICORN) with four OCdts and Staff, St Andrews with two OCdts, and North Berwick with two OCdts and Staff. Seven OCdts and Staff supported the Seafarers Service in Leith the following weekend (below).
Unit members in front of poppy wreaths.
The Unit at the event in Leith.

The Unit was also very fortunate to benefit from two incredible experiences:

Unit staff on a runway.

The first was a trip to Prestwick Airport to visit 814 Naval Air Squadron ‘Flying Tigers’ (based in Cornwall but on recent tasking in Scotland) where seven lucky OCdts and Staff were treated to a flight in a Royal Navy Merlin Mk2 helicopter (pictured above and below) taking in a loop of the West Coast, Loch Lomond, Ailsa Craig, and the Isle of Arran.

Officer Cadets in a helicopter.
Happy Officer Cadets in a Royal Navy Merlin Mk2 helicopter.

The second saw a deployment of five OCdts on the Sandown-Class Minehunter, HMS PENZANCE, from November 12-22. Joining the warship in Oban and sailing across the Irish Sea, this amazing embarkation also included an unforgettable first overseas ‘run ashore’ for the OCdts. OCdts are pictured below in firefighter equipment and cooking up a storm in the galley.

URNU OCdts on HMS Penzance.

The OCdts also continued their excellent work supporting local charities. Fresh Start, an Edinburgh-based charity helping people who have been homeless get established in their new homes, featured again and the proceeds from their final bingo-themed Drill Night generated £585 for the charity. They have also been proactive with generating food banks for Fresh Start and South Leith Church as well as supporting Poppy Scotland with collections on the streets of Edinburgh, Dundee, and St Andrews through Remembrance.

Next term looks just as exciting for the OCdts starting with the RN Ski Champs in Les Deux Alpes and a trip to Sicily to support the International Forum for Peace, Security and Prosperity for a second year. Other plans include an effort to re-establish stronger links with Sea Cadet Units.

◼︎ Unit Senior Training Officer, Lt Iain Maciver, has been recognised with a Lord-Lieutenant’s Award in acknowledgment of 20 years of service to the URNU. He will receive his award at Edinburgh City Chambers in the early part of this year.

For anyone interested in joining the Unit, URNU ES Drill Nights in Edinburgh and Dundee, connected via video link, are every Tuesday from 9 January to 19 March.