1911 - Dockyard Museum Opened

28th June. The Dockyard Museum was officially opened by Mrs. Tate, wife of the Admiral Superintendent, Rear Admiral Alban G. Tate. It had long been the dream of Mr Mark Edwin Pescott-Frost, who was Secretary to the Admiral Superintendent of the Dockyard, to create a museum of the Dockyard, for scattered around the Dockyard were many items of historical interest relating to the Dockyard and Royal Navy.

He persuaded the Admiral Superintendent to allocate a space in the western end of the Great Rope-House where all the artefacts could be housed under one roof. He became the Honorary Curator and spent every minute of his spare time cataloguing the many artefacts, a task that took five years to accomplish. The entrance fee was 3 pence per person and 3 pence for a catalogue; for excursion parties with a minimum of twelve persons the fee was reduced to 1½ pence per person. The museum was staffed by a messenger from the Engineer Commander’s Department with the assistance of a Yard Boy. Money collected was, after deduction of running costs, divided between various charities for the benefit of dockyard men and the Portsmouth community; they were, Royal Surgical Aid Society (Portsmouth Branch), Portsmouth & South Hants Eye & Ear Hospital, Royal Portsmouth Hospital and Victoria Nursing Association, to which the Admiralty also made a donation. The museum was the first of the maritime museums in the country.

Sadly it was closed and many of its artefacts were absorbed into the new Victory Museum when it was opened on 26th July 1938 by the C-in-C, Admiral of the Fleet Lord Cork and Orrery, others artefacts were given to the National Maritime Museum in London and many more were simply lost.