HMS President 1918 arrives at Chatham Docks

Rob Powell Military, News 19 Comments

HMS PRESIDENT came down the Thames yesterday and turned in to the River Medway where she entered her new temporary home at Chatham Docks.

The historic warship from WWI has left the Embankment in London - her home since 1922 - to make way for the new Thames Tideway sewage tunnel works.

With her dazzle ship livery, President arrived at Chatham in dazzling sunshine assisted by several GPS tugs.

Her funnel and wheelhouse had been taken off to allow her to fit under the bridges on the Thames on a journey which started last week and saw her pause at Erith for several days because of bad weather.

The owners commented, "the current management team are working hard to secure a new mooring along the Thames, which requires a lottery grant and permission from the Port of London Authority. We aim for the ship to be brought back and opened again to the public very soon."

The ship was originally commissioned in the Royal Navy as HMS Saxifrage in 1918 and tasked with finding and destroying German U-Boat submarines.

Photos of HMS President (1918) arriving in Chatham yesterday

HMS PRESIDENT MOVED TO CHATHAM

HMS PRESIDENT MOVED TO CHATHAM

HMS PRESIDENT MOVED TO CHATHAM

WATCH video footage of HMS President (1918) arriving at Chatham

Buy a copy of a photo from this post as a digital file or print

Comments 19

  1. paul williams

    HMS President now held in a charity for the nation has just been refused 330K twice by the Heritage Lottery Fund meaning it will have to be scrapped. The Ship is London’s last WW1 vessel and only one of three left and unique in its class. Its only hope is an appeal to the Treasury for a grant to save it so please write to Philip Hammond asking him to intervene and donate on ‘Just Giving’.

    1. Phillip

      What about all the £millions of cash compensation you got? Maybe you should spend some of that instead of trying to plunder the lotto – eh??

    1. paul howell

      Yes I agree, but this foolish nation allowed all of its ww2 battleships to go to scrap without saving one (unlike the USA). So what chance for the President I wonder ?

  2. Leigh Phillips

    I’ve written to the Gillingham and Stood MP Kelly Tolhurst to get involved in making her a perminent resident of Medway.
    Please also write to her to show I’m not the only one!
    SHE CANNOT quietly go off into the night…
    Get it on Facebook and Twitter, I don’t have accounts but I’m sure you do. Let’s get the public engaged and energised to save this ship!

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  4. Paul

    Do we have any information how much the owners got for the ship from the government?. I understand they got millions but the hard working staff got no compensation. I used to be a manager there some 13 years ago.

  5. Hon. Steven W Lindsey

    Seems like a blithering thing to do. Like when they scrapped the Warsprite. Where is the much vaunted Fleet Street press. Why are their voiced muted?

  6. George Painter

    It is nothing short of a disgrace that funds are not made available for this historic former Royal Navy ship of First World War vintage to be made secure for the Nations maritime history, especially in this the 100 th. Anniversary of this destructive world war! The amount being applied for ( 330K) from the Heritage Lottery fund is small in comparison to many grants that have been given for the restorarion of historic buildings. Why do we neglect our proud Maritime history so much ?Just look at the International Register of historic ships and see how other maritime nations have protected their history, the U.K.’s efforts in comparison is pathetic!

    1. Alan

      The ship featured on the BBC travel show last Sunday 13th November 2016, and gave the impression that it was a tourist attraction in Chatham that could be visited. I assume that is not the case but if anyone could throw any light on it I would appreciate it.

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        Rob Powell

        Hi Alan – No, HMS President isn’t open to visitors. It’s the rather secure and slightly hazardous Chatham Docks so isn’t accessible.

  7. Nan Brett

    My grandfather served in the fleet air arm and was on the HMS President when it was the HMS Saxifrage what price heritage the only one left ? so save it!!!

  8. John Lane

    My Dad brought this ship into the Thames. I can remember as a young boy eati g potato and carrots, cant remember what else in the mess. A crying shame to see her go.

  9. George Painter

    Further to my previous comments we must remember that moored alongside H.M.S. President on the London Embankment was the former H.M.S Chrysanthemum . This was a view of London recognised the world over ! This proud vessel was sold privately in 1988 and brought to the River Medway in 1995 and scrapped at a yard not far from where H.M.S.President is moored today!

  10. Michael Goodes

    Any news of her demise, I’m told the insurance has run out and nobody wants her. Can anyone tell us the latest news?

  11. David Fitches

    My Father ( Frederick Fitches) was President of the Petty Officers Mess for many years in the 1950s. I attended children’s Christmas Parties held on board. I was christened on board HMS Chrysanthemum her sister ship and my god father was Commodore Noble.

    I want to visit this ship which means so much to my family . Can we arrange it .

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