Friday, 7 February 2014

WW1 Royal Navy exhibition and relaunch of WW2 submarine

From the National Museum of the Royal Navy ( at Gosport

Racing to War: The Royal Navy and 1914
National Museum of the Royal Navy

From April 3rd 2014 - January 2015

Racing to War: The Royal Navy and 1914 will be the first temporary exhibition for the NMRN [tickets available]. It will tell the Royal Navy’s story during the last years of peace and the opening months of the First World War.

The collection reveals little known stories leading up to the outbreak, with unique objects and art curated specifically for this new exhibition. Hanging together for the first time, highlights include a rare collection of nineteenth and twentieth century paintings, many borrowed from private collections, depicting scenes of the Royal Navy in battle and the aftermath of fierce fighting at sea. The Racing to War exhibition tells the story of the service on which Britain pinned its hopes for survival and for victory. It will take the visitor through the story of how the Navy were instrumental in the century’s early years, into the naval arms race with Germany and the building of the Grand Fleet.

It will examine the dramatic opening of the Navy’s war – seeing how far the assumptions about the Navy’s role and its strength matched the reality. It looks at the big personalities, like Winston Churchill and Sir John Fisher, who argued fiercely with Lord Charles Beresford over naval strategy and new technologies. The first 6 months of war, the loss of ships and men in the early battle defeats and the months spent fighting across the globe, a long way from home and the familiar shores of the North Sea.

Racing to War is the first of a series of special exhibitions between 2014 and 2019 that will tell the story of the Navy’s vital part in the War.

Relaunch of HMS Alliance
Royal Navy Submarine Museum, Gosport

From April 3rd 2014

HMS Alliance; the only surviving WWII era submarine will be ready for her ‘relaunch’ after undergoing a major £7m conservation and restoration project. The 281ft sub, based at the Royal Navy Submarine Museum (RNSM) Gosport serves as a memorial to 5,300 British submariners. She has been completely restored with new interpretation, state of the art lighting and soundscapes which bring the submarine to life [tickets available].

A visit on board begins with a commissioned film narrated by British Hollywood star and HMS Alliance advocate Ian McShane. With faithfully restored dressing, design and even smells inside the submarine, the visitor can take a journey through every decade of the submarine’s service from the 1940’s to the 1970’s. You can also peer through the working periscopes to view Portsmouth Harbour and meet a veteran submariner who will tell their own personal stories of working beneath the waves.

Designed during WWII for service in the Far East, HMS Alliance was launched in 1945, as victory was achieved. She began a distinguished 28 year career during the Cold War until she retired and became the centrepiece of the Submarine Museum on the Gosport waterfront.

A ticket to HMS Alliance also includes the Royal Navy’s first submarine Holland 1 and the only surviving WW2 midget submarine X24.

(With thanks to the NMRN)


My latest genealogy books are Tracing Your Family History on the Internet (2nd ed), Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, and Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet. My next Pharos course is Scottish Research Online, which commences Feb 27th 2014, 5 weeks, price £45.99.

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