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HMS Monitor is currently docked in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard
A RARE piece of British wartime history needs a cash injection of more than £2million to stop it from falling into disrepair.
First World One vessel HMS Monitor M33 is berthed in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard and Hampshire County Council is leading plans to make it fit for visitors to board in time for the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli Campaign in 2015.
Up to £2.4m is needed to preserve the ship, which is only one of two First World War warships in the country.
It launched in 1915 and was used to ferry British and Commonwealth troops during the Gallipoli campaign.
It is hoped the warship will play a central role in the First World War centenary commemorations, which start next year.
The boat was bought by Hampshire County Council’s Museums Service in 1990, and alongside the National Museum of the Royal Navy, a bid of £1.7m to preserve the ship has been submitted to the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The county council has also set aside £250,000 for its renovation, and the National Museum of the Royal Navy has proposed adding an additional £200,000.
Hampshire County Council leader Councillor Roy Perry, who recently visited the warship, said it is important to preserve the M33.
“She is one of only two WWI warships left in this country and without work to restore her, she could disappear from history altogether,” he said.
“If our lottery funding bid is successful, the M33 will play an important role in Hampshire’s First World War commemorations and will join the ranks of the nation’s most significant historic warships, here at the Historic Dockyard, for years to come.”
The outcome of the Lottery bid will be announced next month.
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