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Portsmouth-based museum ship to play leading role in Gallipoli commemoration

The National Museum of the Royal Navy’s HMS M.33 at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard will play a key role in national and international events planned to commemorate the centenary of the Gallipoli campaign.

An event at the National Museum of the Royal Navy, Portsmouth on 6 August 2015 will focus on the opening of M.33, the last surviving ship from the Gallipoli campaign which is currently being refurbished thanks to funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). The Centenary commemorations will coincide with the completion of the ship’s refurbishment and will aim to engage young people and contribute to the educational aims of the commemorative programme.

HMS M.33 was acquired by Hampshire County Council’s Museums Service in 1990 in order to preserve her heritage for future generations across the county, and the nation. Last year the Council joined forces with the National Museum of the Royal Navy to bid for Heritage Lottery Fund support towards the extensive work required to preserve this important historical artefact. Earlier this year, the HLF awarded £1.75million  to restore and open the ship to visitors for the first time in its history and Hampshire County Council officially transferred M.33 to the National Museum of the Royal Navy.

She will be the only British warship from the First World War to be open to the public during the Gallipoli Centenary next year.

Professor Dominic Tweddle, Director-General National Museum of the Royal Navy said: 'HMS M.33 is a small ship but has a big history. We are thrilled that Portsmouth and the National Museum of the Royal Navy will be centre stage during this very important centenary year and we are delighted that HLF funding will enable us to open the ship to visitors. Finally we’ll be able to share the story of her part in the Gallipoli Campaign and ensure that she is a permanent reminder that the First World War took place at sea just as much as on land.’

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