HMS Victory: The 250th anniversary of the launch of the world's oldest and most famous warship
In the years to come, over an unusually long service, she would gain recognition, leading fleets in the American War of Independence (1775-1783), the French Revolutionary War (1793-1802) and the Napoleonic War (1803-1815).
In October 1805 she achieved everlasting international fame as the flagship of Vice-Admiral Nelson in Britain's greatest naval victory, the defeat of the French and Spanish at the Battle of Trafalgar.
Chatham, Kent is intrinsically linked to HMS Victory: In addition to her launch at Chatham in 1765, Nelson joined his first ship HMS Raisonnable on the River Medway in 1771 and in the same year joined his uncle’s ship HMS Triumph at Chatham as a captain’s servant.
There is no better place to commemorate this auspicious anniversary than at The Historic Dockyard Chatham through a new exhibition which delves beneath the surface of Britain’s most iconic warship.
“HMS VICTORY: THE UNTOLD STORY”- curated by historian, writer and broadcaster Brian Lavery - explores Victory’s career, unearthing surprising and often little known stories leading up to and in the aftermath of the Battle of Trafalgar.
Twenty two objects are on loan from the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich including two impressive models of Victory showing the changes in her construction.
Generously lent by Her Majesty The Queen from the Royal Collection is the Nelson Bullet; the single lead musket ball which dealt the fatal blow on 21st October 1805 - mounted, with some remnants of gold lace from Admiral Nelson's uniform.
Curated by historian, writer and broadcaster Brian Lavery, HMS VICTORY: THE UNTOLD STORY is showing from 14th February until 31st May at The Historic Dockyard Chatham. Entry into the exhibition is included in the dockyard’s normal admission price.
For further information:
Telephone: 01634 823800