Chatham has a rich military heritage dating back to the Roman occupation. Remains of a Roman military building on the high ground above the town were discovered in 1779. Following the Battle of Aylesford in AD 455, this same strategic high ground was occupied by one of the victorious Jutish warlike tribes, the Ceatta from which the town takes its name.
In Chatham's Military Heritage local military historian Clive Holden focuses on Chatham's most active military period from the founding of the Royal Dockyard in the mid-sixteenth century to the Royal Navy's withdrawal in 1984 and the subsequent run-down of its other military facilities since then. It covers Chatham's activities in both world wars, the Cold War and earlier conflicts with the Dutch and French.
As well as the wars, the book details the development of the dockyard, the area's various barracks, buildings, forts and fortifications and the social and environmental effects they had on the locality, together with some of the major military personalities connected with the town.
Clive Holden is a local historian with a wide range of historical interests, living near Maidstone. He has appeared on the BBC TV series Heir Hunters on an episode discussing the subject the history of Chatham Naval Dockyard & Barracks. He is a keen photographer and is the creator of the 'Kent's Historical Sites' group on Facebook, which serves as a digital portal for all those interested in the local history of the area.