100th Anniversary of the Dry Docking of HMS Victory

January 2022

Today marks the 100th anniversary that HMS Victory was towed into her dry dock in Portsmouth, the first crucial step in saving her for future generations. Her conservation still continues with a new £35 million conservation project announced today.

Launched at the naval dockyard in Chatham in in 1765, Victory enjoyed a remarkable career, most famously breaking the line at the battle of Trafalgar in 1805 as Horatio Nelson’s flagship. By the 1920s she was in a terrible condition and at risk of sinking.

We have dedicated an episode of the Mariner’s Mirror Podcast to the historic campaign to save HMS Victory which includes an interview with Nick Ball, one of the curatorial team at the National Museum of the Royal Navy in Portsmouth, who explains the challenges and extraordinary innovations being used in her current restoration program.

This article from 2005 in the Mariner’s Mirror also explores in depth the campaign to save HMS Victory and highlights in particular the involvement of the Society for Nautical Research and the video below uses Artificial Intelligence and Digital Artistry to recreate Nelson’s face from a plaster mould made before he died.


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