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Ahoy to the Royal Navy!

In an historic event, the Royal Navy’s newest vessel, HMS Medway visited our waters in September.

We were delighted that HMS Medway was officially commissioned here in Chatham when she visited this September. Indeed Medway was one of the ship’s very first port of calls. The commissioning is the official ceremony that places the ship on active service and it’s an historic occasion as it is very rare that a ship gets commissioned in the location it takes its name from.

At the same time, we honoured the ship and her company with the Freedom of the Borough.

HMS Medway continues a long association between the Royal Navy and Medway which, as home to the Chatham Historic Dockyard, has existed since Elizabethan times. The second of the Royal Navy’s OPVs, HMS Medway is the 10th vessel to bear the name since the 1690s.

The ship arrived in Medway on Monday, 16 September and the public was able to join in a weekend of celebrations of the 21 and 22 September. A parade to mark freedom of the borough was held, starting at Church Street (just off Chatham High Street). The crew marched to Gun Wharf on Dock Road, saluting as they passed, before making their way into the Historic Dockyard Chatham. A band joined the parade, sounding through the streets of Chatham. On Sunday 22 September, the ship was open to visitors.