Dockyard wants HMS Caroline in Portsmouth

Picture: Malcolm Wells

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A PLAN to move First World War warship HMS Caroline to Portsmouth has got a step closer.

The government’s enterprise minister Arlene Foster said an ‘economic appraisal’ had been completed but talks over the ship’s future were still ongoing with the Royal Navy.

It’s thought the warship, which has been based in Belfast for more than 80 years as headquarters and training ship for the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve in Northern Ireland, could come south to go on display at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard in 2014.

Caroline, which is the last remaining warship of the 1916 Battle of Jutland, was taken over by Portsmouth-based National Museum of the Royal Navy last year and Portsmouth Historic Dockyard already holds more than 400 of the ship’s artefacts.

Around 80 per cent of Caroline is original and she has what are thought to be the only surviving in-situ World War One turbines in the world.

A source said: ‘Portsmouth Historic Dockyard wants HMS Caroline so it has a ship from every age of the navy on display here in Portsmouth.’