278 died, including 78 workers from nearby towns and villages. A Court of Inquiry was held into the loss and evidence was given that priming of the mines was being carried out hurriedly and by untrained personnel. The Royal Marines also have a long association with Chatham.
The Chatham Division was based in Chatham until the closure of the Chatham Dockyard.
Hoo St Werburgh, Cliffe, High Halstow, St Mary Hoo, Allhallows, Stoke and Grain are on the Hoo Peninsula to the north. Medway includes parts of the North Kent Marshes, an environmentally significant wetlands region with several Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs).
The majority of surviving buildings in the Historic Dockyard are Georgian.
It was here that HMS Victory, Admiral Lord Nelson's flagship at Trafalgar, was built and launched in 1765.
In terms of loss of life it remains the second worst explosion in British history.
Less than six months later there was a second explosion. She was a 1,500-passenger liner built at Dumbarton in 1914 for Canadian Pacific.