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HMS Cavalier

The Royal Navy’s last operational Second World War Destroyer. She served in the Second World War and in various commissions in the Far East until she was decommissioned at Chatham in 1972. After decommissioning she was preserved as a museum ship at various sites and currently resides at Chatham Historic Dockyard.


Shipbuilding – especially warship construction at Chatham and Sheerness influenced the development of North Kent and Medway for over 350 years. The Navy’s ships operating from the county’s Royal Dockyard’s, ports and anchorages played a major role in defending convoys, transporting troops and providing offensive capabilities during the Second World War and have left a historical and technological legacy that continues to today.

Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust

Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust,
The Sail & Colour Loft,
The Historic Dockyard,
Kent ME4 4TE


HMS Cavalier was laid down by J. Samuel White and Company at East Cowes on 28 March 1943, launched on 7 April 1944, and commissioned on 22 November 1944. Although built at Cowes, Isle of Wight, HMS Cavalier was repaired, supplied and finally paid off at Chatham in 1972 as the Royal Navy’s last operational Second World War Destroyer.

HMS Cavalier was active in escorting the Atlantic convoys supplying Russian allies. Cavalier was installed in Chatham as the National Destroyer Memorial with its associated monument. HMS Cavalier is the last of the Second World War destroyers and represents the 11 000 seamen and 142 destroyers that were lost during the conflicts.

Curriculum Links

  • KS1: Local History, Significant Events, Everyday Materials
  • KS2: Local History, Second World War, Forces, Materials and their Properties, Mechanical Systems, Writing Composition – Poetry, Outdoor Adventurous Activities, Team Building
  • KS3: Local History, Britain 1901- Present Day, Developments in Design and Technology, Materials and Components, Team Building, Forces
  • KS4: Metals and Alloys


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