Marching in costume of an earlier era are trainee marines at H.M.S. Vincent at Gosport.
C/U of a boat figurehead bust representing the Earl St Vincent. C/U of the St Vincent crest. The Union Jack flag is being lowered - L/Ss. L/S of man in very strange uniform which includes large red and white hat lowering the flag. I think that this is a re-enactment of the 1763 Royal Marine's ceremony of "Beating Retreat". L/S of Marines in old fashioned uniform marching from the garrison onto the parade ground of the Boys' Training School, H.M.S. Vincent at Gosport. Various shots of the boy trainees marching. A marching band is seen, the boys look pretty young.
M/S of other boys at the training school watching the parade. They wear contemporary blue shirts and trousers. Narrator explains that the uniforms of the earlier period were borrowed from the Naval Museum in Devonport so that replicas could be made. Tailoring was carried out by women volunteers, including the boys' mothers. Narrator explains the history behind the ceremony of "Beating Retreat" over various shots of the parade, Royal Navy personnel in uniform, and boys watching the parade. High angle shot of the parade is intercut with shots of a mother holding a young boy up for a better view. Narrator recounts the history of the training school and comments on the old fashioned style of marching.
Note: Sir John Jervis, Admiral of the British Fleet is mentioned at the start of the film and is presumably present. Paperwork relating to this ceremony on file.