M.33 is one of only threeBritish First World War warships to survive and funding is being sought to open her to the public for the first time.
She saw action in the Mediterranean between 1915 and 1918, supporting troop landings and evacuations at Gallipoli in 1915. Then in 1919, she played a part in the Russian Civil War covering the withdrawal of Allied and White Russian troops. Following her return from Russia, she spent the rest of her active life in Portsmouth Harbour.
Today she is berthed near the new Mary Rose Museum and Nelson's flagship, HMS Victory, in Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard. Her location in No. 1 dry dock allows visitors to get a closer look at her exterior from the dockside, although currently she cannot be boarded. Her national and historical significance has been recognised and she features in the National Register of Historic Ships.
Hampshire County Council’s Museums Service acquired her in 1990 to preserve her for the county and the nation and is currently working in partnership with the National Museum of the Royal Navy to complete her conservation and enable full public access in time for the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli Campaign in 2015.
A grant of £1.8 million has been awarded by the Heritage Lottery Fund to support this work with additional financial support coming from Hampshire County Council and fundraising by the National Museum of the Royal Navy. The vessel is well on the way to becoming another highly popular public attraction at Portsmouth's Historic Dockyard.
by Ian Buxton
M.33 is managed by the National Museum of the Royal Navy