In April this year, HMS Cavalier, our Second World War Destroyer turns an impressive 70 years old. Not bad for a ship originally built to have a life expectancy of only 18 months.
Launched in 1944, HMS Cavalier was one of 96 War Emergency Programme Destroyers ordered at the height of the Second World Wat at a time when the life of such ships was measured in months, not years. Cavaler was an exception, surviving the war she was modernised during the 1950's and continued in active service until 1972. In 1971 she was crowned 'Fastest Ship in the Fleet' following a celebrated race in the North Sea with HMS Rapid. Today, HMS Cavalier floats in No.2 Dock at The Historic Dockyard Chatham and is part of the National Destroyer Memorial, dedicated to the 11,000 men and 142 Destroyers lost during the Second World War. She is also now an important educational resource and organised groups can even sleep-over in the aft-end of the ship to really get a feel for what life would have been like serving on a ship like this.
Did you know that we need to spend in excess of £100,000 a year to keep HMS Cavalier accessible to visitors and looking as splendid as she does today? A large proportion of this is made up of donations from the public and in her 70th Anniversary year, we are hoping to raise an additional £10,000 to support her future maintenance and preservation costs.
Please consider supporting the HMS Cavalier 70th Anniversary appeal.
Thank you for your support.