St Mary's Island History Group

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St Mary's Island is a wealth of stories -- of people, heritage, new life and hope.


Welcome to our web site  that is growing as our Group grows.


We have already had some very successful meetings and set up some contact groups.


We have identified research that we want to do on this Island as well as present its many layers of history.



Take time to read our latest Newsletter and we will then look forward to meeting you soon.



Our Twenty Years and more booklets

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There is a further booklet in the St Mary’s Island History Group series where we have drawn together history on the Dutch Raid on the River Medway of 1667. This is a compilation of information with some illustrations describing some of the history leading up to the raid and various accounts.

We also have our booklet on the Medway Hulks -- the de-masted hulks of warships fitted out to take hundreds of convicts and prisoners of war. They floated in the River Medway and off Sheerness with each having a crew of guardians and the convicts coming ashore to work.

We already have sold over a hundred copies of the booklet produced alongside the 20 Years of St Mary’s Island Exhibition. Not forgetting text and illustrations from our St Mary's Island 1914 - 2014 exhibition as booklets.

To get your booklet copies, priced £1, telephone Brian Portway on 01634 891708 or send us a contact message through our web site.  Or see us at the meeting. We meet at St Mary's Island Community Centre, Island Way West,  Chatham  ME4 3EP on the second Monday each two months. See you there.



For 75 years in the Estuary . . . .


SS Richard Montgomery is an American Liberty ship built during World War II, one of the 2,710 used to carry cargo to battlefields around the World.


Then came the voyage in 1944 that ended with her wrecked off the Nore sandbank in the Thames Estuary, near Sheerness. The ship carried tons of various types of explosives and even after an extensive unloading operation some remain to this day.


Colin Harvey from Sittingbourne has followed the story of the ship and the various investigations and enquiries surrounding it. He has put together an audio-visual presentation on that 1944 voyage and will also bring us up to date with the ongoing story.


Join us on Monday, 11 November, at St Mary's Island Community Centre off Island Way West.  7.30pm  Visitors welcome £2 .  


Although our annual subscription is the same, we are now asking all for £1 per person for refreshments to help balance the books as such.


We are still looking into the mystery of the burnt ship found as the massive Chatham Dockyard Extension project was underway in the late 19th Century. Some 15 metres down in the mud was found the partial hull of a burnt out ship as what is now the commercial basin was being built. It seems to come from the Dutch Raid of 1657 when two ships were burned at the mouth of St Mary's Creek.

Watchj this space.




The mystery

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