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A Red Ensign will be flown over Medway Council’s Gun Wharf building in May to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Battle of the Atlantic. The Battle is known as the “longest, largest, and most complex” in naval history and continued throughout the Second World War. During this time, pitched battles were carried out on the high seas to win control of the Atlantic and maintain vital supply routes between Britain and America. Huge convoys of Merchant Naval vessels sailed under the protection of British and Allied navy and air forces while under attack from German U-boats and other parts of the Nazi military machine. More

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National Destroyer Memorial

The National Destroyer Memorial at The Historic Dockyard Chatham will be the focus for the Act of Remembrance at 11.00am on 11th November 2012.

Visitors to The Historic Dockyard on Remembrance Sunday, together with dockyard Residents and Tenants, will be invited to join representatives of Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust and members of Destroyer Associations at HMS CAVALIER, the National Destroyer Memorial, and the associated bronze monument alongside, to remember those British service men and women and civilians who lost their lives in the service of their country. More

……by a ship of the Royal Navy since 1984 – a real Salute to the ‘40s!

HMS CAVALIER, The Historic Dockyard Chatham’s very own Second World War destroyer, will mark her own “Salute to the ‘40s” by firing a ‘broadside’ using all three of her 4.5” guns at 12.00 noon on Saturday 15th September, the first day of the Salute to the ‘40s event.

The last broadsides fired from operational Royal Navy ships were by HMS LONDON as she returned to the UK before paying off in February 1982 and HMS ZULU on paying off in 1984. Three rounds will be fired from A, B and Y guns on board HMS CAVALIER by the Historic Naval Gun Crew, a group of re-enactor volunteers who have assisted in restoring the ship’s guns and who will also re-create Captain’s Defaulters and bring the ship to life over the weekend of the Salute to the ‘40s event.

HMS CAVALIER was one of ninety-six war emergency destroyers built for the Royal Navy during the Second World War. Awarded the Battle Honour ‘Arctic 1945’ for operations off northern Norway and in support of the homeward-bound Russian convoy RA64, CAVALIER later operated in the Western Approaches, undertaking duties which included the high-speed escort of the liners-turned-troopships RMS Queen Mary and RMS Queen Elizabeth.

HMS CAVALIER, together with an adjacent bronze monument is now the National Destroyer Memorial 1939-1945 marking the very special contribution made by these ships and the men who served in them.
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The Royal Engineers Museum Library and Archive are undertaking a very exciting project to conserve and install a German V2 Rocket within the museum later this year. The V2, which was brought back from mainland Europe by Royal Engineers, has been situated at an MOD site in Chattenden for over 40 years and has recently been acquired by the museum. The V2, over 14 metres in length, is now at Borley Brothers’ workshops in Cambridge, who are working to strengthen and return the V2 to its former state. In 1944 Hitler ordered that V2 Rockets would be directly launched at Britain and Belgium and over 1000 reached targets in Britain killing thousands. The weapon was an object of terror; it arrived unheard and unseen and delivered almost a ton of explosive at a speed of 3500 feet per second. The V2 was strategically insignificant during the war but it is celebrated for initiating space travel.
We are very excited to have acquired this fascinating and enormous object for our collection and the new Cold War and V2 Rocket displays will open at REMLA later this year.
Keep an eye on our website for more details: www.re-museum.co.uk.

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