HMS Victory (2)

Posted: March 27, 2014 in History
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Following her withdrawal from active service HMS victory was sent to Portsmouth harbour to act as a depot ship for the naval dockyard. There seemed to be little interest in her in the following years, although Princess Victoria is recorded as visiting the ship in 1833. In 1889 the ship became part of the naval school of Telegraphy until this moved to a permanent base at Chatham dockyard. In 1903, Victory was holed by HMS Neptune, which had broken free whilst it was being towed from the dockyard for scrapping. Emergency work managed to prevent the ship from sinking, but it now seemed likely that it, too, would be scrapped and it was only the intervention of King Edward VII which prevented this from being carried out.

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In 1905 and 1910 some efforts were made to commence preservation of the ship, but it was not until the ‘Save the Victory’ campaign of 1921 there any real progress was made. Victory was moved to drydock in Portsmouth harbour in January of 1922 and restoration was commenced. This work continued over the years that followed only being interrupted by the Second World War, during which victory was damaged by a bomb, which was dropped on the dockyard. It is interesting to note that some restoration work identified in 1922, was not finally carried out until 2012. The restoration work continues today – currently work is being done on her masts and outer planking. HMS Victory is still listed as an active naval ship, officially serving as the flagship of the first Sea Lord (The head of the Royal Navy).

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