Training Ship Chatham (T S Chatham) takes its name from the HMS Chatham which was the first ship of the Royal New Zealand Navy. Chatham was from a class of light cruisers. On 1 October 1920 HMS Chatham was commissioned into the New Zealand Naval Forces. Before this Chatham saw service during World War 1 and was employed in the Dardanelles campaign and is remembered by many New Zealand soldiers for this service. From 1916-18 Chatham was the flagship of the 3rd Light Cruiser Squadron with the grand fleet.
HMS Chatham went out of NZ service on the 1Oth May 1924, without a ceremony. Before leaving NZ service the ships' company made a permanent contribution to the country. From their own funds they presented the "Chatham Cup" for Association football; which is still the premier trophy for soccer in this country.
19th June 1961 - Inaugural meeting of the Navy League of NZ (Tauranga branch) about the formation of a sea cadet unit and to meet the 2n Naval member, Commodore Stanners. We hope to have the unit in operation by February 1962.
15th March 1962 - UCdr G Curtis reported the formation of the Sea Cadet unit consisting of 73 boys and it is to be known as CHATHAM CORP. in memory of the first ship of the Royal New Zealand Navy. First parade of the Cadets will be on ANZAC Day 1962.
21st July 1962 - T S Chatham was officially commissioned and held a commissioning ceremony. A new cutter was handed over to the Navy League by the Chief of Naval Staff Rear Admiral P Phipps.
4th April 1964 - T S Chatham wins the Northern Area Efficiency Trophy
4th September 1965 - Tauranga Harbour Board allotted land at the Northern Strand Reclamation for use of the Sea Cadets.
14th July 1967 - The Tauranga Navy League is to consider the purchase of a building owned by Beazley homes for the new Sea Cadet HQ's.
21st September 1968 - Official commissioning of the T S Chatham Headquarters.
27th April 1970 - Sea Cadets Corps now integrated into the NZ Cadet Forces.
January 2011 - T S Chatham moves to occupy part of Tauranga Yacht and Powerboat Club, leaving its home at The Strand since 1968
Chatham was the name ship of type of 2nd-class light cruiser and was first commissioned on 3 December 1912. On October 1st 1920 HMS Chatham was Commissioned into New Zealand Naval Forces. At the outbreak of WWI, Chatham was part of the Light Cruiser Squadron based in the Mediterranean. After service in the Red Sea, she discovered the whereabouts of the German cruiser Konigsberg, up the Rufiji River in November 1914 and sank that ship’s attendant colliers to prevent its escape, also capturing a german merchant ship at this time.
Then in May 1915 Chatham was employed in the Dardanelles campaign and was remembered by many New Zealand soldiers for this service. From 1916-18 Chatham was flagship of the 301 Light Cruiser Squadron with the Grand Fleet but was damaged by a mine on 26 May 1916, so missed the Battle of Jutland. After the Armistice, the ship was placed in reserve until recommissioned for New Zealand.
It had initially been decided that the ship would be primarily manned by the Royal Navy, with personnel on loan to New Zealand. Although when it came to implementing this, the Royal Navy could not provide the necessary personnel. The difficulty was overcome by New Zealand offering short term engagements of three years. which was very attractive to currently serving Royal Navy ratings who were dissatisfied with their conditions of service but still had some years to serve. By this means 293 ratings were recruited, comprising a nucleus crew for Chatham and also Philomel, the balance was made up by Royal Navy Ratings on loan and would eventually be completed by New Zealand recruits.
HMS Chatham was officially commissioned for New Zealand service on 1 October 1920. The ship sailed from Chatham on 18 October 1920 and came to New Zealand via the Azores, West Indies, the Panama Canal, Mexico, San Diego, Honolulu, Fanning Island, Pago Pago, Apia and Suva. Chatham arrived in Auckland on 26 January 1921, being met by the Governor General, sailing again later that day, for Wellington, where it arrived on 28 January.
Chatham — National Museum of the royal New Zealand navy. (2020, June 8). National Museum of the Royal New Zealand Navy. https://navymuseum.co.nz/explore/by-collections/ships/chatham-town-class-light-cruiser/