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- August 1972 edition of the Naval Historical Review (all rights reserved)
The following day Lord Jellicoe sent the following message to the Secretary of State for the Colonies:
‘On behalf of the Government of New Zealand, I wish to express the pleasure with which the arrival of HMS Chatham yesterday was welcomed. The people of the Dominion feel that the presence of this ship in New Zealand waters creates a fresh link of Empire, and is a sign of future close cooperation between the Government of New Zealand and the Admiralty as well as the fact that the ships guarding the interests of the Empire in all parts of the world, even if acting under local authority, constitute one force under one flag.’
Chatham remained at the dockyard until February 26 when she left on an extensive tour of the ports and harbours of both North and South Islands to show the people their newly acquired navy.
Of this cruise Capt. Agar says in his book:
‘We were received with open arms and true New Zealand hospitality wherever we went. We were their ship for which they were paying in spite of a depleted exchequer, and soon the ship would be manned by their New Zealand sailors who were to be trained by us in the Philomel. Enthusiasm in New Zealand for the Navy had always been proverbial but no ship could ever have received such a warm welcome in their homeland as the Chatham did during her arrival tour of the country. Officers and men were never without some form of entertainment and sport, laid on by a most generous and lovable people. We fished in their rivers and lakes, shot quail and widgeon, stalked deer, hunted wild pigs, played rugby football, and attended race meetings wherever we went, at little or no expense to ourselves’.
In July, Chatham left on her first Pacific cruise. This was the forerunner of others which were to be carried out at fairly regular intervals in the years to come by both Chatham and the ships that followed her as units of the New Zealand Division. The Chatham remained in New Zealand as flagship of the New Zealand Division until the arrival of HMS Dunedin in May 1924. After ratings had been exchanged between the two ships and stores transferred the Chatham sailed from Auckland on May 27 for the East Indies Station where she relieved the Southampton as flagship of the East Indies Squadron. On returning to England she was sold in 1926 for breaking up.