Friday, 16 June 2017

Kent: Celebrations The 350th Anniversary of The Battle Of Medway

I was invited to the launch of the celebrations for the 350th Battle of Medway (click here for full program).  Ironically we lost the battle so you might question why are we celebrating.  Well this battle signified a radical change in the course of the Anglo-Dutch war for the Royal Navy.

Until the defeat the purse holders (the government) was reluctant to put money into the fleet however following this defeat the government of the time were able to recognise that they needed to develop the fleet and it eventually turned into the first class Royal Navy that we know today.

To celebrate the 350th anniversary of the Battle of Medway I was invited to the official launch which started at Upnor Castle in Kent.  We assembled at the castle entrance whilst we waited for the guest of honour, HH Prins Maurits of Holland to arrive.
At the castle, on a warm windy day
the VVIPs pose for a phot-call
Prins Maurits unveiled a plaque to commemorate the celebrations
There was a sail past of a couple of dozen small Dutch craft to show support for the celebrations and to get a salute from the prince.
We moved to Royal Chatham Dock, which incidentally is a great family day out with loads of interactive exhibits and a chance to learn about this battle and many others in British naval history.
As with all good British celebrations it is important to have a marching band.  First up was the Dutch naval band,
followed closely by the British naval band.  They both entertained us, the VVIP guests and selected members of the public.
The Dutch naval frigate was in port and we waited for the arrival of HH Prins Maurits
who was intending to tour the ship and meet some of the crew.  A salute and permission to come aboard.
His Highness showed a good deal of interest in the workings of the bridge and I must admit feeling rather special to be there.  This ship has only 50 crew members due to the fact that it is so digitally advanced.
The press photographers were rather hoping that the prince would jump aboard the rescue boat and take it for a spin. However he was just interested to hear all about it from the crew member.
At Chatham Royal Dockyard on the 17th June 2017 there will be a huge re-enactment of the battle with flames, smoke and gun fire.  Even if you cannot make it to the display on the 17th take the family to Chatham for a great day out.  There is ample parking on site or you can get a train from St Pancreas station in London and arrive in just under 35 minutes!

I was a not required to write a positive review and as always all photos are my own and may not be reproduced in any form without my written permission.


  1. What a fantastic event to be invited to although I must confess to never having previously heard of the Battle of Medway

    1. I had never heard of the battle either! But yes it was an amazing experience,

  2. What a super event to attend! I confess my knowledge of British history is sadly lacking (Canadian education) and it's only as an adult I've really taken an interest. I want to learn more about this historic battle now!

    1. It is a very interesting piece of history and only 34 minutes from London by train!

  3. Must admit my knowledge on naval history is patchy but I do know a bit of Nelson's "adventures". What an educational event!

  4. I love having unique experiences and its even better when you learn something.