HMS M.33 is a unique survivor. Launched in May 1915 she is the sole remaining British veteran of that year’s bloody Gallipoli Campaign and the only British warship from the First World War that is open to the public during the centenary year.
The National Museum of the Royal Navy (NMRN) and Hampshire County Council (HCC) worked as partners to develop the £2.4m project to conserve, restore and interpret HMS M.33 With a grant of £1.8m from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) the ship was made physically and intellectually open to all for the first time. The ship sits in No.1 Dock alongside HMS Victory in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, and uniquely visitors start with a 6 metre descent into the bottom of the dock before stepping aboard. New interpretation, including a stunning immersive battle experience, brings alive HMS M.33’s history, the stories of the men who served on board, and the bloody history of the Gallipoli Campaign. The Campaign claimed over 100,000 lives of personnel from all round the world.
This little survivor, a ‘Monitor’ of 568 tons with a shallow draft allowing it to get close-in to shore and fire at targets on land, carried two powerful and oversize 6” guns, but was a basic metal box lacking in comforts. The 72 officers and men who sailed for the Gallipoli Campaign were crammed inside and away from home for over 3 years.
‘Commemorating Gallipoli – the HMS M.33 Project’ is part of the NMRN’s wider ‘Great War At Sea 1914 – 1918’ programme to mark the Royal Navy’s First World War.