DESTROYER HMS Cavalier – once South Shields’ adopted warship – is to fire the first broadside by a British naval ship in almost 30 years.
The vessel, now preserved at The Historic Dockyard, Chatham, will fire three of her 4.5-inch guns at noon on Saturday, September 15, as part of a Salute to The ’40s event.
The last broadsides fired from operational Royal Navy ships were by HMS London, as she returned to the UK before paying off in February 1982, and HMS Zulu on paying off in 1984.
The broadside will be fired by the Historic Naval Gun Crew, a group of re-enactor volunteers who have helped to restore the ship’s guns.
Cavalier, one of 96 war emergency destroyers built for the Royal Navy during the Second World War and the last surviving destroyer of that era, was adopted by South Shields at the end of the war.
Recently, Cookson Country has been recalling details of her visit to the town in 1945.
The ship, which spent time in dry dock at Hebburn in the late 1980s-early 1990s, is now the National Destroyer Memorial 1939-1945.
The destroyer will be an important focus of the Salute to The ’40s event, when life on the home front is depicted by re-enactors, civilian and military vehicles and singers and dancers.