Medway Unitary Authority
|Cemetery notes and/or description:|
The Memorial overlooks the town of Chatham and is approached by a steep path from the Town Hall Gardens at the end of King's Bastion.
After the First World War, an appropriate way had to be found of commemorating those members of the Royal Navy who had no known grave, the majority of deaths having occurred at sea where no permanent memorial could be provided. An Admiralty committee recommended that the three manning ports in Great Britain - Chatham, Plymouth and Portsmouth - should each have an identical memorial of unmistakable naval form, an obelisk, which would serve as a leading mark for shipping. The memorials were designed by Sir Robert Lorimer, who had already carried out a considerable amount of work for the Commission, with sculpture by Henry Poole. After the Second World War it was decided that the naval memorials should be extended to provide space for commemorating the naval dead without graves of that war, but since the three sites were dissimilar, a different architectural treatment was required for each. The architect for the Second World War extension at Chatham was Sir Edward Maufe (who also designed the Air Forces memorial at Runnymede) and the additional sculpture was by Charles Wheeler and William McMillan.
Chatham Naval Memorial commemorates 8,514 sailors of the First World War and 10,098 of the Second World War.
(Due to constant vandalism at the Memorial, the CWGC has had to arrange for it to be regularly patrolled and public access limited to the period from 8:30 am 5:00 pm. A copy of the Memorial Register is kept in the Naval Chapel of Brompton Garrison Church and may be consulted there.)