HMS Charger

HMS Charger

HMS Charger has been the University Royal Naval Unit (URNU) for Liverpool University since 1990. She is based at Brunswick Dock on the site of the new Royal Naval Headquarters, Merseyside.

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After service with the Severn Division RNR at Bristol, she was transferred in October 1990 to the Liverpool URNU, which was formed in October 1971 and is now located within Royal Naval Headquarters (RNHQ) Merseyside. Here the students receive instruction on seamanship, navigation management and leadership.

The unit meets formally every Thursday evening at 1930, such 'drill nights' involving theoretical instruction and practical chart work. Sport and practical teamwork include football, bowling, skiing and many other sporting and adventurous training activities.

Each student will normally attend three training weekends and one two-week deployment over the Spring and Summer holidays.

HMS Charger provides the practical navigation and seamanship training at sea. Recruitment to the unit takes place annually in early October from the universities in Liverpool and also from Lancaster University. Further information is available from:

Liverpool University Royal Naval Unit, RN Headquarters, 80 Sefton Street, East Brunswick Dock, Liverpool, L3 4DZ.

Tel: 0151 707 3438/Fax: 0151 707 3397/Email:

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Unit History

The First HMS Charger1801

The first Charger was a gun-brig, launched at Deptford on 17 April 1801; 179 tons and carried a crew of 50. Her weapons consisted of one 8-in mortar, ten 18-pdr carronades and two 18-pdr guns.


She was sold in June 1814.

The Second HMS Charger1830

The second was an old 733-ton wooden paddle packet, bought in August 1830 as the Courier. The following year she was renamed Hermes, and in 1835 she was renamed Charger.

The Third HMS Charger1855

The next Charger was a two-gun screw gunboat, launched in 1855 and she saw service as a buoy boat off Nova Scotia, Halifax.

Sold an renamed1887

She was sold in the summer of 1887, renamed Rescue, and finally broken up in 1921.

The Fourth HMS Charger1894

The fourth Charger was a 290-ton destroyer built by Yarrow at Poplar, and launched on 15 May 1894. This Charger was 290 tons. She was sold in May 1912 for £1600 and broken up.

USS Charger1941

During World War 2, two ships were built with the name but never sailing under as Charger. The first an escort carrier launched in the US on 1 March 1941 for the RN, but retained as USS Charger.


Next was another escort carrier, launched at Seattle on 16 July 1942 but renamed Ravager before she hit the water.

The Fifth Charger1944

LST 3026 was launched at Blyth on 30 October 1944 and renamed Charger in 1947. This fifth Charger became the Ministry of Transport ship Empire Nordic in 1956.

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Commanding Officer Conrad Rolfe

Rank: Lieutenant

Lieutenant Conrad Rolfe joined the Royal Navy in 2010, he assumed command of HMS Charger in October 2016.

Previous units


HMS Charger was commissioned in June 1988


HMS Charger is the 6th Archer class ship

HMNB Portsmouth

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