It all began in 1854...

...when a clergyman returned to Whitstable from the Crimean war. The Clergyman was concerned at the number of orphaned children that were left from soldiers and sailors that had died during the war. He, along with a number of other sailors that had returned from the Crimea, set up an orphanage in Whitstable to take in the orphaned children.

By 1856 similar orphanages had been set up around the country and by the end of the century they had formed an organisation called the Naval Lad's Brigade. The organisation had soon spread to other towns in the country.

In 1899 Her Majesty Queen Victoria presented Windsor unit with a 10 note for new uniforms. From 1999 this date, the 25th June, has been known as the birthday of the Sea Cadet Corps.

In 1910 the Navy League, a pressure group formed in 1895 with the aim of influencing maritime thinking in Parliament and reminding the country of its naval history and dependance on the sea, decided to sponsor a small number of the independant Naval Lad's Brigade units and they became the Navy League Boys' Naval Brigade.

In 1914 the Navy League applied for admiralty recognition for its 34 brigades and this was granted in 1919 subject to each unit receiving an annual inspection by an officer on the staff of the Admiral Commanding Reserves. The name was then changed from the Navy League Boys' Naval Brigade to the Navy League Sea Cadet Corps.

During the World War II the Navy League set up a scheme where its units trained cadets to be Telegraphists and Signalmen for service in the wartime Navy. In 1942 the admiralty took an interest in the scheme and the Admiral Commanding Reserves took over the scheme. It became known as the "Bounty Boys' Scheme" because each unit was given a bounty for every boy that it trained.

His Majesty King George VI became the admiral of the Corps and it was renamed, yet again, as the Sea Cadet Corps and it's officers were appointed into the RNVR (Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve). As a result of cities and towns around the country sponsoring the building of warships local units adopted the name of the ship that their town or city had sponsored. All current units were given a number in alphabetical order, Whitstable unit was given the number 363.

The Sea Cadet Corps up to this time did not allow girls to join but in 1942 the Girls' Naval Training Corps was formed as part of the National Association of Training Corps for Girls (NATCG).

In 1947 the co-sponsorship of the Sea Cadet Corps by the Navy League and the Admiralty was embodied in an agreement known as the Sea Cadet Charter. Through this the admiralty undertook sponsorship of 22,000 cadets to supply boats, uniforms, training facilities, travel expenses and limited pay for RNVR appointed adult staff.

In 1955 after a request to the Commandant General Royal Marines, he allowed the formation of the marine cadets section. Sea Cadet units were allowed to form a marine cadet detachment to run alongside them.

In 1963 the Sea Cadet Council agreed to sponsor the GNTC (now the Girls Nautical Training Corps) and they becam affiliated to the Sea Cadet Corps with, in many cases, local units sharing premises.