The King’s Coronation on Saturday 6th May, 2023 was a special occasion for many across the UK, and none more so than Clyde Marine Training cadet Charlie Harrison, who was chosen by his college to be part of the event, represent the Merchant Navy within the 200-strong Civilian Uniformed Services personnel positioned at Whitehall for the King’s Coronation parade.

When asked to sum up his feeling about being chosen and the events of the day, Charlie commented: “It was an honour to represent Union Carrier, Warsash Maritime School, Clyde Marine Training and the merchant Navy as a whole, and was an opportunity that not many receive. It’s something that I am completely overwhelmed by and will think about it for a long time to come.”

Charlie joined Warsash Maritime School (WMS) as a Marine Engineering Cadet in January 2020, sponsored by Union Carrier, and managed through Clyde Marine Training.  He immediately embraced the whole Cadet process, keen, engaged and willing to assume the role as volunteer class rep and generally presented himself as an excellent example to his fellow Cadets.

As was the case for all cadets starting in early 2020, within 2 months all teaching moved online due to the pandemic, but Charlie was undeterred and responded well to the challenges this created and again took on the role as the class co-ordinator and motivator.

With some of his classmates struggling, Charlie was the one who made sure they all attended the online lectures and organised class Teams/Zoom revision sessions.  Throughout all this, he also maintained focus on his own studies, earning average scores of over 80% in both his college phases so far.

Difficulties created by the pandemic also meant Charlie and his fellow classmates initially struggled to get the appropriate sea time, but he used the downtime wisely, preparing for the forthcoming phases whenever he could.

More recently Charlie and his fellow phase 5 Cadets returned to WMS and began an intense period of preparation for their critical IAMI Engineering Knowledge exam.  Charlie was at the forefront of planning and driving a very focussed revision programme for the class.  Despite the gripes and groans of his peers, he still managed to motivate and encourage them to believe in their own abilities.

Charlie is a “no nonsense” Cadet.  He has supported WMS at open days and other events proving himself to be a fine ambassador for both WMS but also for his company.  It was particularly pleasing when he helped support Greek Cadets from our satellite college during their own preparation for the IAMI exam.

Marking the contribution made by Cadets is never easy, but by recommending Charlie to represent the Merchant Navy at such an auspicious event, all at WMS hope will go some way to let him see that his outstanding efforts and contributions have been recognised.