Gallipoli warship the M33 in bid for £1.8 million backing at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard

By Culture24 Reporter | 30 September 2013

A coastal bombardment vessel, built for the Dardanelles Campaign of 1915-1918 and refitted to boost troops during the Russian Civil War of 1919, could be back in action in time for its centenary if it receives £1.8 million in funding.

A black and white photo of a warship at sea
The HMS Monitor M33 played an important role in naval campaigns during and after the First World War© Hampshire County Council
HMS Monitor M33 has been stationed at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard since covering the withdrawal of Allied and White Russian servicemen during the Dvina River Campaign, having also supported the Gallipoli Campaign of 1915.

Hampshire County Council’s Museums Service bought the warship in 1990, and planners have welcomed initial Heritage Lottery Fund backing for their plan to revitalise this neighbour of the new Mary Rose Museum and HMS Victory.

“We have long known this warship is of national and international significance,” said Keith Chapman, of the council, who will be part of a team preparing a final application to the Fund early next year.

“Without the Museums Service’s initial intervention to acquire the ship, and now this support from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the M33 could have been lost forever.”

Under the plans, visitors will be able to enter the ship and discover the stories of those who served on it. The council will also transfer ownership of the ship to the National Museum of the Royal Navy if the bid succeeds.

“This is a great example of a successful partnership coming together to save a precious part of our national naval heritage,” said the museum’s Professor Dominic Tweddle, describing curators as “absolutely thrilled” by the Fund’s support.

“We’ve long seen the M33 as both culturally and historically important, and this symbolises the start of a new era for her.”

Praising the collaboration, Minister for Tourism Hugh Robertson said the M33 would provide “a tangible and compelling link to the First World War”.

A photo of two men standing in front of a huge docked warship
© Hampshire County Council
A photo from the deck of a huge warship
© Hampshire County Council
A photo of a warship by a dock
© Hampshire County Council
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so pleased this iconic vessel will be on dsiplay and accessiblle at last- not only as a memorial to Gallipoli but also as a reminder of the development anf history of Churchills monitors
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