Maritime Archaeology Trust given £1.1 million grant to search the Solent for sunken First World War ships

Huge cash grant to search Solent for sunken warships

Garry Momber

First published in News
Last updated
Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Health Reporter

THEY were once key parts of the British war effort thought lost underwater.

Now the Maritime Archaeology Trust has been given a £1.1m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to search the Solent for sunken First World War ships.

The Forgotten Wrecks of the First World War project will begin this spring and spend four years searching 700 wreck sites across the South Coast, including merchant, naval, passenger, troop and hospital ships.

Garry Momber, director of the trust, formerly known as the Hampshire and Wight Trust for Maritime Archaeology, said: “I am delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund is supporting this project.

"These wrecks are subject to corrosion and the impact of our changing seas so it is only a matter of time before many of these sites could become scattered elements on the seabed.

“There is a real risk that knowledge of these wrecks, if not fully researched, could be lost forever.

"This project is not only timely, but essential to help raise the profile of maritime conflicts in the history books of tomorrow.”

Stuart McLeod, head of Heritage Lottery Fund South East, added: “Forgotten Wrecks will open up a part of our wartime heritage that has remained largely under-researched and undervalued.

"The immense contribution to the war effort made at sea and the thousands of people who lost their lives just off our shores deserve to be remembered.

“This project will gather valuable information on the hundreds of wrecks that lie beneath the waves and piece together their journeys and the stories of those that sailed and fought on them.”

It is the latest project celebrating the centenary of World War One that the HLF has invested in and adds to the £47m granted so far.

The project will also involve Hampshire schools with youngsters encouraged to take an active role in research.

Information collected by the project will be made available through the internet and will be turned into exhibitions staged across the south.

The trust, set up 20 years ago, is also calling for volunteers to help with research and technology.

Comments (5)

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6:59pm Fri 28 Mar 14

acid drop says...

What a waste of money
What a waste of money acid drop
  • Score: -8

7:56pm Fri 28 Mar 14

OSPREYSAINT says...

Very interesting, hopefully some artifacts can be rescued and displayed, we have been very neglectful of our history and heritage, it is time to do something about it.
Very interesting, hopefully some artifacts can be rescued and displayed, we have been very neglectful of our history and heritage, it is time to do something about it. OSPREYSAINT
  • Score: 7

9:40pm Fri 28 Mar 14

Positively4thStreet says...

Isn't Huge Grant an actor?
Isn't Huge Grant an actor? Positively4thStreet
  • Score: -1

7:31am Sat 29 Mar 14

AndyAndrews says...

The grant appears to be for the whole South Coast, not the Solent. The Echo at its accurate best as usual...
The grant appears to be for the whole South Coast, not the Solent. The Echo at its accurate best as usual... AndyAndrews
  • Score: 1

10:23pm Sat 29 Mar 14

forest hump says...

Another demonstration of how lottery funds are wasted on futile, irresponsible whims. This money should be used on projects which add real value. Not on recovering lumps of useless rust from the seabed
Another demonstration of how lottery funds are wasted on futile, irresponsible whims. This money should be used on projects which add real value. Not on recovering lumps of useless rust from the seabed forest hump
  • Score: -4

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