A British naval vessel built in 1915 that was employed in bombarding the coast in the Gallipoli campaign has opened to the public this week in Portsmouth Historic Dockyards after a £2.4 million restoration programme. Armed with two six-inch guns, HMS M33 was a ‘568-ton metal box lacking in comforts’, according to the museum. The 72 officers and men who sailed for Gallipoli were crammed inside and away from home for more than three years.The ship complements ‘Gallipoli: Myth and Memory’, a large and thoughtful exhibition in the Dockyards’ National Museum of the Royal Navy, which gives both sides of the story of the terrible campaign.
With Nelson’s flagship Victory and the 16th-century warship Mary Rose among its other attractions, plus trips around the harbour, Portsmouth Historic Dockyards make a pleasant day out from London. Also not to be missed here is HMS Warrior, a steam sailing ship built in 1860 and the largest fighting ship in the world at the time. She never fired a shot in anger, and was a leading vessel in the 1867 Fleet Review given in honour of the state visit of Abdülaziz, the first Ottoman sultan to visit Europe.