Boys in Year 7 had a unique opportunity of taking a trip through Britain’s colourful and decorated naval history this week as they visited Portsmouth’s historic dockyard.
The day began with an educational workshop aboard Henry VIII’s warship, the Mary Rose. In particular, the boys were fascinated by the primary painting which depicted the ship in the thick of the battle.
Things took an explosive turn as the group were then shown how to fire a cannon on board Admiral Lord Nelson’s flagship, HMS Victory. It was a poignant moment for the boys as they stood on the deck where one of Britain’s greatest military commanders fell at the Battle of Trafalgar.
Finally, the tour moved into the twentieth century as the boys boarded the M 33 battleship from World War 1 to gain a clear understanding of the ship’s role in supporting allied troops. Unsurprisingly, they were most interested in the mechanics of firing the guns, although many will remember being told of how, in spite of the huge loss of life suffered during the Gallipoli campaign, no men were killed on board the M 33.
This was a special and memorable day for the boys, one which they won’t forget in a hurry. It was a pleasure for them to gain such a unique insight into their nation’s proud naval history.