THE leader of Hampshire County Council has spoken of his pride that a First World War warship will be brought back to life.
HMS M33, the only surviving ship that took part in the Gallipoli campaign in the war, is set to open at Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard on Thursday.
Councillor Roy Perry said: ‘This is an important and fascinating piece of Hampshire’s heritage – the only remaining British veteran of the Gallipoli campaign.
‘I am very pleased that the county council was able to save it for preservation as a fine example of marine heritage for which Hampshire, and in particular the Solent area, is famous.
‘With tourism playing such a vital role in Hampshire’s economy, our vision for the ship has always been to welcome the public aboard to see it, as a valuable education resource and tourist attraction. It is very fitting that we are able to do this, in time for it to be a part of the centenary commemorations of the Gallipoli Campaign.
‘Thanks to the Heritage Lottery Funding secured in partnership with the National Museum of the Royal Navy, the restored ship is now a sight to behold, and berthed in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard alongside the Heritage Lottery-funded Mary Rose Museum and Nelson’s flagship HMS Victory.
‘I look forward very much to seeing visitors enjoying this latest addition to these national maritime treasures.’
The Heritage Lottery Fund awarded £1.79 million to the NMRN to restore and open HMS M.33 to visitors. An opening ceremony will take place on Thursday and it will open to the public on Friday.