Black-painted small plaster statue of a cadet on the training ship HMS 'Worcester', supposedly at the time of its establishment in 1862. It shows a boy of about twelve to fourteen, facing forward in cadet uniform of trousers, short jacket, waistcoat, collar and tie, with a peaked naval cadet cap sitting slightly back on his head exposing short curly hair. The figure's weight is on the right leg, the body turned a little to sitter's right, with the left leg slightly forward and bent at the knee. The 'Worcester' was a 50-gun ship allocated by the Admiralty to the Thames Nautical Training College on its foundation in 1862, to train boys for both the Royal and Merchant Navies. It was first moored in Blackwall Reach, then at Erith and only became permanently associated with Greenhithe on the Thames from 1871. Several ships succeeded the original 'Worcester' (including the 'Cutty Sark' ) though the College also established a large shore base on the adjacent Ingress Abbey estate. It closed in 1968, the last 'Worcester' (a steel training ship of 1904) being broken up shortly afterwards. A new Merchant Navy College used the buildings for another twenty years but closed in 1999. This figure was formerly mounted on a wooden plinth that served as a war memorial aboard the training ship. The wooden part was inscribed with 75 names in gold and the legend: 'In memory of the old Worcester Cadets who gave their lives in the Great War 1914-1918'. The statue and plinth were presented to the Museum by the Incorporated Thames Nautical Training College in July 1970. The date of the statue is speculative, based on its known use, but it may have been made earlier for some other reason.
Original size: 1150 mm x 330 mm
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