HMS M.33 at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard (Photo: National Museum of the Royal Navy)

UK Navy Museum launches first 'crowdfunding' appeal for Gallipoli survivor

Posted on on 19 February 2015
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Crowdfunding has been adopted by the National Museum of the Royal Navy for the first time to help complete the task of conserving the Gallipoli warship, HMS M.33. 

Reflecting the Centenary date, the month-long appeal aims to hit a target of £19,150 online towards the fund-raising appeal.

M.33 is the sole surviving Royal Navy warship from the Gallipoli campaign, fought in Turkey between April 1915 and January 1916.

Lying alongside Nelson's flagship, HMS Victory, in Portsmouth Dockyard, she will be opened to the public on August 6th 2015 as part of UK events commemorating the 100th anniversary of Gallipoli.

HMS M.33 was designed for coastal bombardment. A shallow draft enabled her to get close to shore and fire at targets on land, essential for the attack on the Gallipoli peninsula.

Conditions were tough for the crew, as the National Museum of the Royal Navy explains: "She carried two powerful and oversize 6-inch 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 three years."

The M.33 project is part of the Museum's wider ‘Great War At Sea 1914–1918’ programme to mark the Royal Navy’s role in First World War.

The Crowdfunding target is just under 10 per cent of the final £250,000 still to be raised. Following an award of £1.75 million from the UK's Heritage Lottery Fund, the aim is to attract small donations from large numbers of people. 

Matthew Sheldon, Project Director for the M.33 launch, says: “Those donating to the crowdfunding campaign receive a number of benefits according to the level of their gift. These range from social media acknowledgement via “shout outs” thanking them individually, to free tickets, limited edition postcards up to special tours of the ship with an experienced curator.”

“Most importantly though, those donating have the unique opportunity to contribute to saving a fantastic piece of our naval heritage that will be open to visitors for many, many years.

"We describe her as a little ship with a big history and the beauty of crowdfunding is that you don’t need to contribute large amounts to ensure she is safe for the future.”

The crowdfunding appeal runs until March 18th 2015 on the Indiegogo website. A special exhibition,‘Gallipoli: Myth and Memory’ opens at the National Museum of the Royal Navy in Portsmouth on March 28th 2015.

Information & images supplied by the National Museum of the Royal Navy

Posted by: Peter Alhadeff, Centenary News