High Peak mayor Paul Hardy and Reverend Andrew Parker of Buxton Methodist Church joined the cadets for the ceremony at the Pavilion Gardens on Saturday, October 23, to plant the tree as the navy's White Ensign flag flew above the bandstand.
Prince Philip, who died at the age of 99 in April, was admiral of the Sea Cadet Corps from 1952 until 1992, having served in the British navy during the Second World War.
Trevor Johnson, a trustee of the cadets, was joined by three of the surviving veterans of High Peak’s former Royal Naval Association branch to pay tribute to the royal’s legacy and a life which inspired multiple generations.
He said: “The young cadets are well aware of the duke’s achievements and naval service before he married the Queen.
“He went on to create the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme which has inspired and encouraged hundreds of thousands of young people across the UK and Commonwealth.”
This oak tree is aligned with two others planted previously by local former naval veterans. The first was planted in October 2005 to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Admiral Nelson’s victory at the Battle of Trafalgar and the second in June 2016 to celebrate the centenary of the First World War’s Battle of Jutland.
Trevor said: “The oldest tree is quite big now, so we are doing our bit to maintain the gardens, which are an important part of the town’s heritage – it’s not quite enough to build a battleship yet though.”
The Buxton Sea Cadets group was established in 1961 and despite being more than 60 miles from the coast it has always maintained a strong connection with the Royal Navy, and achieved notable success in national sailing competitions.
The unit has been has been operating from Errwood Sailing Club for most of this year to allow for improvement works at their home base.
The group is currently recruiting for cadets and adult volunteers to assist with work including administrative tasks and the training of cadets and other volunteers. For more information, email [email protected]