MUSEUM bosses and naval top brass have toasted a £100,000 windfall which will protect one of the world’s most famous warships for future generations.
HMS Victory was gifted the cash grant by the Society of Nautical Research (SNR).
The funding boost will go towards paying for the costs of ongoing research and restoration works on the former naval flagship at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.
It is the latest injection of cash the SNR has given to the vessel since it launched its Save the Victory Fund in 1922.
Admiral Sir Kenneth Eaton, the SNR’s chairman, handed over the cash to the head of the navy First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Philip Jones and former First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Jonathon Band.
Speaking of the award, Sir Philip said: ‘HMS Victory is recognisable around the world as a symbol of Britain’s maritime heritage, and for those of us serving in the Royal Navy today, a symbol of the values and standards that continue to guide us.
‘The Royal Navy and The National Museum of the Royal Navy, in whose care the ship now rests, are very grateful to the SNR for its initiative after the First World War in raising the funds which allowed HMS Victory to be brought into dry dock at Portsmouth.
‘But for their efforts the Victory might well have been lost to the nation. The society’s support down the years has been constant and this latest very generous gift is further evidence of the SNR’s commitment to conserving this outstanding piece of our maritime heritage.’
Founded in 1910, the society was launched to foster research into all aspects of seafaring and shipbuilding.
Since 1992 it has given Victory more than £1.26m.
It was also instrumental in helping to found the Royal Naval Museum in Portsmouth in 1972.
Professor Dominic Tweddle, director-general of the National Museum of the Royal Navy, said: ‘We are remarkably fortunate in having such generous and constant support in our task of ensuring the survival of this famous ship.
‘The dedication of the Society for Nautical Research is a great encouragement to us in our important stewardship of this great vessel.’
Victory was launched in 1765. In 1805 she achieved lasting fame as the flagship of Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson in Britain’s victory over the French and Spanish armada at the Battle of Trafalgar.