Hampshire & Isle of Wight

HMS Alliance reopens as part of £11m Royal Navy project

Media captionThe exhibition includes the only surviving submarine from World War Two

A restored World War Two-era submarine has reopened as part of an £11m Royal Navy project charting the force's history over the past 100 years.

The £7m restoration of HMS Alliance, moored outside the Submarine Museum in Gosport, Hampshire, has been part funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Two exhibitions also opened at the National Museum of the Royal Navy at Portsmouth's Historic Dockyard.

Exhibits include the gun that fired the first shot of World War One at sea.

HMS Lance's four inch (100mm) gun, which weighs 3.6 tonnes, fired the first British shot of the war, on 5 August 1914, and joins more than 500 items in the two exhibitions:

  • HMS Hear My Story - £4.5m permanent galleries, recounting the experiences of more than 1,000 Royal Navy servicemen and women
  • Racing to War: The Royal Navy and 1914 - a temporary exhibition devoted to the outbreak of World War One.

Other items on display as part of the project, which marks the centenary year of the outbreak of the Great War, include unpublished love letters from a serving Chief Stoker during World War One, and a rare collection of 20th Century paintings depicting Royal Navy battle scenes, many of which have never been on public display.

HMS Alliance, the UK's only remaining submarine built during World War Two, is now a memorial to 5,300 British submariners who lost their lives in service between 1904 and the present day.

Prior to its restoration, which began in October 2011, it had begun to fall into the sea.

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