Gunner’s son hails work to preserve old warship

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THE 92-year-old son of a First World War naval gunner has praised efforts to save historic ship HMS Caroline.

The ship, which was once based in Portsmouth, is set to become a floating museum in Belfast.

Now Thomas Weddick, whose father, James, was a chief gunner during the 1916 Battle of Jutland, says the 100-year-old vessel will provide invaluable insight into the challenges of life at sea.

He said: ‘It would have been such a shame if Caroline had been scrapped.

‘The lines of the vessel are so perfect and she was the fastest battleship in the world when built.

‘I would like to think it will capture the imagination of people and help explain how difficult it was to be in the navy in those days and how dreadful war is.

‘When you see things like the galley of the ship – it is not as big as the kitchens of half the people I know – it just shows how difficult life must have been back then.’

HMS Caroline will undergo a multi-million pound 
preservation project by the Portsmouth-based National Museum of the Royal Navy over the next three