Students from Norwich follow in Nelson’s footsteps

Students from Norwich have been honing in on their naval skills while learning about the Royal Navy on a commissioned warship.

The students from the University of East Anglia are part of Cambridge University Royal Naval Unit (CURNU), which is one of 14 units based around the UK aiming to provide students with an education and understanding of the role of the Royal Navy.

Officer Cadet Thomas Bhaduri, is a second year bio-med student at the UEA and said: 'It is absolutely brilliant. It is just as much about the social side as well.

'I am having the time of my life.'

The students travel to Cambridge once a week for a four-hour drill night where the students learn traditional naval skills like chart work and navigation, rules of the road and practical leadership skills.

They also spend weekends away aboard CURNU's own fully commissioned warship HMS Trumpeter, which is based in Ipswich marina.

While aboard each student undertakes all of the roles which enable a warship to function. This ranges from being in command of the ship to cooking dinner in the galley. The students must navigate the ship using charts similar to those used in the time of Nelson as well as manning the radar, steering the ship and keeping watch for other boats.

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Acting midshipman Andrew Livesey, a second year medical student at the UEA, said: 'Things get exciting when we do a night passage and have to navigate in the dark, or play with our sister ships and attack them with water balloons. We also get an adrenaline rush doing man-overboard exercises or replenishment at sea where we transfer supplies, usually cakes and chocolate, using a big rope to our fellow students aboard another ship whilst sailing along at high speed.'

Last summer the students made a six thousand nautical mile journey to Gibraltar and back with the ship crewed and run entirely by them.

Mr Livesey said: 'In such testing times for our military, the existence of such units is in my opinion of vital importance to students around the country.'

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