First broadside to be fired by Royal Navy ship since 1984 at Historic Dockyard Chatham

By Ruth Hazard | 14 September 2012
A photo of a large ship in a dock with a Union Jack flag flying above its mast
HMS Cavalier will fire three rounds from her A, B and Y guns at 12pm on Saturday© Historic Dockyard Chatham
Event Preview: Salute to the '40s, Historic Dockyard Chatham, Chatham, September 15-16 2012

Second World War destroyer HMS Cavalier is set to make history once again this weekend, as the ship prepares to fire the first broadside by a Royal Navy vessel since 1984.

The Historic Naval Gun Crew, a group of re-enactor volunteers who have assisted in restoring the ship’s guns, have been honoured with the task of firing three rounds from the A, B and Y canons at 12 noon on Saturday (September 15).

The firing of the broadside is part of the dockyard's Salute to the '40s celebration© The Historic Dockyard Chatham
The last broadsides fired from operational Royal Navy ships were by HMS London, when she returned to the UK before paying off in February 1982, and HMS ZULU, upon paying off in 1984. 

HMS Cavalier was one of 96 war emergency destroyers built for the Royal Navy during the Second World War and was awarded the Battle Honour Arctic 1945 for operations off northern Norway.

Cavalier later operated in the Western Approaches, undertaking duties such as the high-speed escort of the troopships RMS Queen Mary and RMS Queen Elizabeth.

The display is part of a nostalgic weekend at the Dockyard, which is also set to include a re-enactment of life on the Home Front featuring civilian and military vehicles, a village square and encampments. 

Singers, dancers and musical artists have been lined up to entertain visitors throughout the weekend, with a 1940s style dress code vital for anyone wishing to join in the daily fashion parades.
  • Open: 10am- 6pm. Tickets £4.50-£19 (family ticket £22-£56, free for under-5s). Visit the event online for full details.

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Visitors are asked to wear 1940s style dress for the weekend© The Historic Dockyard Chatham

Re-enactors will bring the experience of the Home Front to life© The Historic Dockyard Chatham

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