The National Museum of the Royal Navy (formerly Royal Naval Museum) has been counting visitors on board HMS Victory since the ship opened in 1928 and has just welcomed the 25 millionth visitor.
John Dunaway and his twin sons, Dylan and Freddie, aged five, from Langstone, Hampshire (pictured), were greeted at the gangway by with a special welcome aboard by the Director General of the National Museum of the Royal Navy, Prof Dominic Tweddle and 1stLieutenant Helen Wright, RN – the XO of the ship.
Mr Dunaway commented:“We’re really honoured to be the 25 millionth visitors, it’s an incredible number and I decided to bring the boys along today as they are just about the right age to understand it all. We’re really lucky to have Victory on our doorstep; it’s something to be proud of.”
The Dunaway family have been given a ‘money can’t buy’ prize of tea with the Commanding Officer, a personalised tour of the ship and the dock bottom, plus a tot of rum (for the adults!) in the officer’s mess to finish the day – to be arranged at a later date.
Visitor records at the National Museum of the Royal Navy date back to 1928, when they welcomed 17,135 people on-board and they now attract on average 350,000 visitors a year. HMS Victory was launched in 1765 and is still in commission as the flagship of the First Sea Lord. She is the oldest commissioned warship in the world.