HMS Victory Marks 100 Years in Drydock

From The National Museum of the Royal Navy

One hundred years ago today, on January 12 1922, the world was watching Vice-Admiral Lord Nelson’s celebrated survivor from the Battle of Trafalgar.

HMS Victory was towed from her berth in Portsmouth Harbour and secured into the dry dock.

Dry dock 2 is a scheduled ancient monument and is itself 220 years old.

First floated out at Chatham in 1765, Victory enjoyed a varied career.

Unfortunately, by the 1920s she was in poor condition and at risk of sinking at her mooring without considerable intervention.

Later in 1922, on October 21st, Trafalgar Day, the “Save the Victory” campaign by the Society of Nautical Research was publicly launched.

This society continues to play a hugely significant role in securing the world-famous flagship for posterity.

Victory had been a popular tourist attraction when berthed in the harbour throughout the 19th century.

She was finally officially opened as a museum ship to the public by King George V on 17 July 1928.

Victory has since welcomed more than 30 million visitors.

As well as this she has welcomed a host of famous visitors including Royalty at dinners and balls.

She even survived a 500lb bomb dropped by the German Luftwaffe during the Second World War.

HMS Victory remains the flagship of the First Sea Lord & Chief of Naval Staff, and is the oldest commissioned warship in the world.

The dry dock itself is now part of a greatly enhanced visitor offer for Victory.

In addition to a self-guided tour of the ship, visitors now have the chance to descend into the dry dock under the enormous hull on a dedicated walkway.

Visitors can weave through the recently completed and new state of the art support system.

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