CDHS Links Page
[ Updated October 2014 ]
About Britain -- The premier online guide to Great Britain.
Anchor Signmakers -- Signwriting is a trade which has been performed at Chatham Dockyard since the 1760's. Anchor Signmakers proudly continues this work today inside the Historic Dockyard.
Battleships and Cruisers -- This Battleships and Cruisers web site is a very large and extensive naval history site. (The title is misleading as all warship classes are listed.) You will find lists of all the world's navy ships from the nineteenth century to the present day, with photos, histories and paintings on many of the ships. More information is added regularly, and help is sought to provide more information.
Brompton History Research Group -- Brompton village is a complex civilian area in the heart of a military world. To the south and east lie the Chatham Lines, a series of fortifications built to defend the Chatham Dockyard. To the west lies the Dockyard itself and to the north Brompton Barracks, home of the Royal Engineers.
Build The Lenox -- The original HMS Lenox was a 70-gun third rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, launched at Deptford Dockyard in 1678. Today, enthusiasts in Deptford, south-east London, propose to build a replica of the Restoration warship Lenox in the dockyard where she was originally built.
Chatham Dockyard Oral History Project -- This Project forms part of a CDHS member's study into the post-1945 history of the Yard. It is aimed at everyone who worked at the Yard, whether Admiralty, management, industrial or clerical as well as those who were related to or knew dockyard workers or who even just remember the Yard when it was operational and want to contribute their particular memories.
The aim of the study is to fill the gap in academic study and writing about Chatham Dockyard, which exists for this period. Through interviews and questionnaires it will combine the official recorded history in Admiralty documents with the reminiscences of those who actually worked through the changes in the Yard and experienced its sad closure.
The Historic Dockyard, Chatham -- Set in a stunning 80-acre estate The Historic Dockyard Chatham will excite and entertain you - whatever your age! Explore the world's most complete dockyard of the Age of Sail and discover the hidden secrets of the yard that built over 400 ships for the Royal Navy, including Nelson's flagship HMS Victory.
Chatham's Bid for World Heritage Site Status -- Chatham Historic Dockyard is a key part of the local bid to become a future World Heritage Site. The Site contains 60 scheduled ancient monuments, 152 listed buildings, four conservation areas, two gardens of historic interest and one site of nature conservation interest.
Dockyard Railway -- [Link broken when checked, Oct 2013] The development of a railway system within Chatham Dockyard area appears to have started during the 1860s. This was in the form of a narrow-gauge railway linking several buildings. The dockyard bought its own locomotives for both the narrow- and standard-gauge lines, many of the narrow-gauge locomotives being purchased from Woolwich Arsenal. This web site gives more information about the locomotives, trucks and wagons and dates when steam trains are running.
Dockyard Railway 2 -- A full description of the Chatham Dockyard railway history and development. Details the branch line connection from Gillingham to the 'yard as well as including many photographs of locomotives, steam cranes and other rolling stock.
Figurehead Archive -- The Figurehead archive contains research and representations of Ships Figurehead, other Maritime Woodcarvings, such as Stern Board carvings, and Cats heads. Much more information on figureheads, their history and purpose is also contained therein.
Friends of the RN Submarine Museum -- The Friends are an active, involved society working to preserve the heritage of the Submarine Service through its Museum. A Registered Charity No.1046251, it has a large membership, the support of Hampshire County Council and a sound financial base. They have an ongoing programme to finance the conservation of photographs and other archive material, enhancing display galleries, staff training and the purchase of submarine related artefacts for the RN Submarine Museum.
Historic Ships Volunteer Group -- The Chatham Historic Warships Volunteer Group consists of 40+ members, from a variety of backgrounds, who meet regularly at The Historic Dockyard Chatham to restore and maintain the Historic Warships (Gannet, Cavalier and Ocelot) plus some smaller vessels all based at the Dockyard. The group was formed around 9 years ago with just a handful of members and over the years has grown steadily to its present size.
HMS Arethusa -- Arethusa was the name ship of a class of four light cruisers for the Royal Navy. She was authorised under the 1931 programme and was laid down here at Chatham Dockyard on 25 January 1933.
Smaller than the earlier Leander Class of cruisers to balance numbers of ships with current International Treaty limitations on tonnage, welding was used to save weight. She displaced 5,220 tons on a hull 506 ft by 51 ft and carried three twin 6 inch gun turrets, four single 4 inch anti-aircraft guns and two triple torpedo tubes.
HMS Cavalier Association -- A website with full and detailed history of HMS Cavalier's service in the Royal Navy. Many personal stories and links to other material. Extends to cover many other WWII destroyer histories. Much information about the active Cavalier Association of old shipmates.
HMS Chatham Type 22 Frigate -- Our adopted warship, HMS Chatham, was decommissioned in February 2011 and placed on the Disposal List. [Web links to an Old Chats Association awaited].
HMS Cumberland Association -- was formed in 1988, 30 years after the last commission of the WWII Cruiser. The Association has a Facebook entry with news and photographs.
HMS Dido Association -- Web site and information about the two Chatham-based Dido's. The HMS Dido Association covers all commissions of the ship with the name, namely the WWII Cruiser and the Leander class Frigate, latterly sold to the Royal New Zealand Navy as HMNZS SOUTHLAND.
HMS LOWESTOFT ASSOCIATION -- Web site and Discussion Forum about the Lowie which had many refits in Chatham Dockyard. The Association’s aim is to unite old shipmates and foster the friendships of all who served in Lowestoft through the website, forum and annual reunions. HMS Lowestoft first commissioned on the 18th October 1961 and was sunk for target practice on the 8th June 1986 by a single Tigerfish torpedo fired by HM S/M Conqueror.
HMS MINOTAUR -- In 1805, as part of Nelson's fleet, HMS MINOTAUR fought at Trafalgar under Captain C.J.M. Mansfield. This site is run by descendants of Captain Mansfield. Research is continuing and more information sought.
Invicta Marine Propulsion -- Invicta Marine Propulsion LLP, based in the Historic Dockyard, Chatham are leading specialists in the overhaul, refit and repair of CPP and Thruster systems. Drydock or in-service work can be performed anywhere world-wide by our experienced team. Invicta Marine Propulsion work closely with ship Superintendents and shipyard personnel to achieve approved overhauls within the demanding time scales of drydock periods.
John H Amos Steam Paddle Tug -- John H Amos is the last surviving steam paddle tug in the Great Britain. Under the care of the Medway Maritime Trust, extensive renovations are planned.
This tug is listed on the UK Core Collection of Historic Vessels, a list comprising the 60 most historically significant ships in Britain.
JS Knott Legal Services -- They have been established since 1963 and are full members of the Association of British Investigators. They are located in the Admirals Office within Chatham Historic Dockyard.
Kent Family History Society - Medway Branch -- The Kent Family History Society was founded in 1974 and now boasts branches in Ashford, Canterbury, Deal & District, Maidstone, Medway, New Zealand and Thanet, as well as a global branch on the Internet.
The Medway Branch has been in existance for 12 years and is now one of the largest with a membership of over 400 out of the 4,000 plus worldwide.
Kent History Forum -- Set out in newsgroup forum style, this focussed and local-to-Kent site is full of both military and maritime-related information as well as more general topics. Well worth a browse.
Kent Police Museum -- The Museum was started as a collection of Police memorabilia in the 1960's by officers who felt there was a need to show the history of policing in Kent. In 1992, the Historic Dockyard heard about this, and offered the use of a building. After restoration and repairs, the Police Museum, moved into the building, and was opened by the Lord Lieutenant of Kent on the 25th July 1994.
Kingswear Castle -- The coal-fired paddle steamer KINGSWEAR CASTLE was built in 1924 by Philip & Son of Dartmouth and until 2012 sailed up and down the River Medway from Thunderbolt Pier in the Historic Dockyard, Chatham. Nowadays her home mooring is on the River Dart, Devon.
Maritime Museums in Britain -- The Maritime and Naval Museums in Britain and Ireland website lists nearly 300 museums and museum-ships in Britain and Ireland, in alphabetical order of their usual names and gives ways of contacting them or getting more detailed information.
Maryport Maritime Museum -- Situated on the quayside in the historic town of Maryport, Cumbria, it occupies the building formally known as The Queen's Head public house which entertained lots of sailors between their voyages on the high seas. Maryport was once the third largest coal port in England.
Medway Local Studies Centre -- The centre houses the main local studies reference collection for Medway Information & Museum Services. The bulk of the collections are printed materials illustrating the history, industry and culture of the Medway area. When the Centre opened in 1993 the remit was to collect materials about the Rochester-upon-Medway City Council area. Since the creation of Medway Council the collecting policy requires the covering the whole of the Medway Council area in detail and Kent in general. There is an extensive Naval collection which celebrates the connection of Chatham with the Royal Navy and HM Dockyard, and relates to ships, naval campaigns, naval architecture, Royal Marines and ships' badges. Including Navy List 1813-date (hard copy) and 1813-1858, 1915-1916 (microfiche); together with important publications like the Navy Records Society.
Medway Maritime Trust -- A collection of historic and preserved vessels. It aims to be a centre of excellence for the rescue, restoration and conservation of historic vessels and for the provision of education, advice and interpretation of our maritime heritage.
Medway Pilots -- All vessels visiting the River Medway or the Dockyard need assistance from the local river Pilots. This website contains much interesting information on a number of web pages including History of the River Medway; Boarding and Landing Card and Useful Links.
Medway Queen Paddle Steamer -- The Paddle Steamer Medway Queen is the last Estuary Paddler left in this country, built in 1924 for the New Medway Steam Packet Company Ltd. In her WWII war service she served as a Minesweeper, and also rescued 7,000 men in May-June 1940 off the beaches at Dunkirk. This ship is historical in many aspects, recognition of her condition is of great importance.
National Archives -- The National Archives, Kew, London (formerly the Public Record Office), covers England, Wales and the United Kingdom and was formed in April 2003 by bringing together the Public Record Office and the Historical Manuscripts Commission. It is responsible for looking after the records of central government and the courts of law, and making sure everyone can look at them. The collection is one of the largest in the world and spans an unbroken period from the 11th century to the present day. Through the National Register of Archives and the Manorial Documents Register, they maintain up to date information on non-governmental records that deal with British history. This covers records throughout the UK and overseas.
National Maritime Museum --- The National Maritime Museum at Greenwich works to illustrate for everyone the importance of the sea, ships, time and the stars and their relationship with people. The Museum has extensive collections of naval and marine artifacts on show. Free admission.
Naval Biographical Database -- The Royal Navy has always depended on its people but, lacking any comprehensive listing, little is known of the estimated five million individuals involved since the Civil War. Starting from small beginnings to safeguard 'at risk' data, this work aims to establish accurate biographical information on those individuals who have served, or supported the Royal Navy since 1660. This is a monumental undertaking making use of a powerful relational database., The project includes Commission, Warrant and Yard Officers is making steady progress.
Also available is a complete ship listing from 1660 to early 19th Century, including a number of vessels previously unrecorded in the standard references.
Naval Dockyards Society -- The Naval Dockyards Society provides a forum for all those who have an interest in naval dockyards and associated organisations, including hospitals, victualling yards and Ordnance Board establishments. It is concerned with any aspects of naval dockyards: construction, history, workforce as well as the surrounding communities and those involved in administration as well as the suppliers of necessary goods and services. Formed in 1996 and formally constituted on 1st March 1997, the Society has the backing of the National Maritime Museum at Greenwich. Contains a very extensive web links page.
Naval History.Net -- Naval History Net is an excellent source of data on the naval history of the First and Second World Wars and the Falklands Campaign. It is invaluable for unravelling the intricacies of naval warfare. Much of the World War 2 and all the Falklands War pages are based on two books by Gordon Smith published in 1989. The rest of the work is his own research following a career as an MBA, C.Eng in business and industry, including military operational research.
Port Towns and Urban Cultures -- The Port Towns and Urban Cultures group of the University of Portsmouth is dedicated to furthering understanding of the social and cultural impact of life in naval port towns from the eighteenth century to the modern period.
RN Submarine Museum -- This unique Museum at Gosport, Hampshire, offers you the chance to walk on board a real submarine, discover true tales of heroism and relive a life under the sea through the personal belongings of the crew. Trace the history of submarine development, from Alexander the Great, to Holland I, to the giant nuclear powered Vanguard class of the present day peace keepers.
RNB Pembroke -- The Royal Naval Barracks, HMS Pembroke, home to the men of Chatham Port Division until 1961. A web site full of pictures and information about then and now.
Sheerness Dockyard -- A wealth of information about the history of the second Royal Naval Dockyard within Kent: Sheerness. The website owned by Sheerness Heritage Centre also covers the heritage of the Isle of Sheppey.
Sheerness Dockyard Preservation Trust -- The Dockyard Church Sheerness. In 2014 the trust secured a start up grant from the heritage Lottery Fund to begin the process of developing a business plan for the Church's restoration.
Ships Monthly -- This is a well respected and authoritive source of information providing reports on the ferry, cruise, new building and cargo ship scene as well as the world’s navies. Informative features cover a selection of vessel types old and new as well as personal recollections, voyage reports, naval incidents and company histories.
Society for Sailing Barge Research -- The Society's website is for those interested in the history of the Thames Sailing Barges of the East Coast of England. Includes information on the history of barge building, ownership, the ports from which they sailed, the craft themselves and the men who sailed them.
St. Mary's Island History Group -- St Mary's Island is a wealth of stories -- of people, heritage, new life and hope.
We have identified research that we want to do on this Island as well as present its many layers of history.
Take the time to read our latest Newsletter and we will then look forward to meeting you soon.
Submariners Association (Barrow in Furness Branch) -- The Submariners Association is an Association of ex and serving Submariners which seeks to maintain the special bonds of friendship, loyalty and comradeship, together with a pride in the Submarine Service, formed during service in Her Majesty´s Submarines.
This Barrow in Furness branch web site contains much useful information and data on submarines.
Submarines: Chatham Built -- This website is dedicated to the men and women who built submarines at Chatham and to the submariners who took them to sea.
The 1805 Club -- It was founded in 1990 to care for the memorials of the Georgian sailing navy. They are a vital yet often neglected part of Britain's naval heritage. No other organisation is dedicated to their preservation. Chatham Historic Dockyard is the largest and finest example of a Georgian naval yard in existence.
The Historic Medway Towns -- The Towns consist of Rochester, Chatham, Gillingham, Strood, Rainham and various outlying villages on the Hoo Peninsular, including Grain. Each of the towns has its own distinct character and history. This site aims to tell you about each of them from the point of view of someone who lives there.
The Writings on the Walls -- The historic and architecturally interesting buildings at the ‘top-end’ of Chatham Historic Dockyard carry a unique social document on their outer walls in the form of architectural graffiti, i.e. names, regimental details, drawings etc., lovingly scratched into the brickwork. This website blog details the research and cataloguing of the inscriptions with lots of photographs.
Underground Kent -- is a site dedicated to the many underground features that can be found not just in Kent but in other areas. They are mostly military fortifications that have been built over the last three centuries, but other features that included tunnels can also be found here. All sites are man made, or in the case of mines, heavily influenced by industrial usage. The aim is to provide a glimpse into the rarely seen and often ignored world that exists beneath our feet.
VIC 56 Steam Coaster -- [ Web link not working, Oct 2013] The VIC 56 is an eighty-five foot steam ship, built in 1945 as part of the wartime shipbuilding program, and now preserved in working order by a small group of volunteers. She is moored at Chatham Historic Dockyard, on the River Medway in England, is operated in steam a number of times each year, often to the Thames estuary area. For most of her working life, the VIC 56 was used in Rosyth naval base as an ammunition vessel. She was due to be disposed in September 1978, but was bought for preservation by J. H. Cleary, the present owner.
Visit Medway - The Historic Dockyard -- The Historic Dockyard, Chatham is Europe's most important maritime heritage destination. The 80-acre site dates back over 400 years and was once one of Britain's most important naval bases. Among its displays are warships, The Museum of the Royal Dockyard, other exhibitions and some of the country's best architecture.
Weapon Systems Tuning Group -- View photos and read reports on the latest WSTG social occasions. Learn about the history of WSTG and its founder members. Keep track of forthcoming social functions and special events. Read about members memoirs of their time in the Navy and WSTG. Memories and last respects to members who have sadly passed on. Catch up on what's been going on over the last three years. View photos from the WSTG archives.
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World Ship Society -- Since its founding by a small group of dedicated ship enthusiasts in 1946, the World Ship Society has grown into the largest and most prestigous international organisation dedicated to maritime and naval history. Web site has very extensive list of links.