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Reserve Forces & Cadets Association
Northern Ireland


26 May 2016

At the Battle of Jutland, the heroism of 16 year-old Jack Cornwell is recognised by the Sea Cadets to this day in the form of the Cornwell Medal, awarded to the top cadet on the POC Advancement Course, and through a unit that is named after him.

Whilst manning a gun on HMS CHESTER, the ship came under such severe attack that all of its gun crews, with the exception of Jack Cornwell, had been killed or mutilated by shells and flying splinters that poor gun defences offered no protection against.

As CHESTER withdrew from engagement, Jack Cornwell now manned  the only gun left on the ship and still faced the enemy and ready to do his duty but, sadly, also horribly wounded. Whilst he was taken to hospital, he died a few days later before his mother could arrive. His story of outstanding devotion and bravery won him a posthumous Victoria Cross.

Sir Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of the Scout movement, created an award in his honour, The Cornwell Scout Badge.

Jack Cornwell is also remembered by the Sea Cadet Corps, Army Cadet Force and Air Training Corps, who all have a unit based in the United Kingdom's first and only Tri-Service Cadet building named; 'The Cornwell VC Cadet Centre', located on Vicarage Lane in East Ham.

Newham (Cornwell VC) Sea Cadets have been honoured with 'J T Cornwell VC' on their cap ribbon (Cap Tally) instead of the customary TS (training ship). They are the only Sea  Cadet Unit in the United Kingdom to have this honour.