The Two Small Ships (WW1) Society

11 Grafton Street, Lincoln, Lincolnshire, LN2 5LT.

A society supporting a new website and blog that provides an alternative perspective on WW1 through the history of two small ships - HMS Torpedo Boat No.1 from 1914 - 1915 on patrol around the east and south coasts of England during the outbreak and early part of WW1, and HMS Monitor M30 June 1915 - May 1916, particularly at Gallipoli.

It is hoped that it will give the little vessels and the men who served in them the place in history they deserve. M30 is the sister ship of HMS M33 - one of only two significant British warships to have survived WW1. M30 served alongside her, and went down, at Gallipoli. The M30 research has been welcomed by Prof. Dominic Tweddle, the Director of the National Museum of the Royal Navy at Portsmouth, and it will be made available to visitors when the M33 opens.

The Gallipoli Association has recently published an article based on the M30 research. The website is based on work by Michael Hanna, who has been researching the naval career of his uncle, Frank Hanna, for over 25 years. A contemporary journalist wrote that Frank Hanna was the first man to hold a command after graduating from Winston Churchill\'s innovative \"Mates\" scheme to promote carefully chosen men from the lower decks. Such men did not have wealth or connections. Hence they were often appointed to the small ships. Torpedo Boat No.1 and Monitor M30 were little more than gun platforms. They were tiny and difficult to manoeuvre - their crews demonstrated superb seamanship in the treacherous waters of the North Sea, and served under heavy fire at Gallipoli.

The website brings these life of these small ships and their brave crews to life, through vivid contemporary accounts of the politics around their deployment, life on board, and photographs. The website has already attracted attention from other WW1 historians who are quoting the research in forthcoming books and articles, and from members of the public whose relatives served in these or similar ships. The most recent blog is based on research by an amateur German historian who was able to give information on the German gun batteries that sunk M30 at Gallipoli. Sir Walter Raleigh wrote that "the greatest ships…are less nimble, less mainable and are very seldom employed."While the history of the great ships of WW1 has been well documented, this website and blog explores another side of naval, and personal, WW1 history. The Two Small Ships (WW1) Society has 24 members, including three generations of the Hanna family and other interested in this largely unexplored area of WW1 naval history.

Some members of the Society are based in Australia, where Gallipoli centenary events will be held next year. The Society hopes to make this alternative naval history more widely known through the links to other organisations detailed on the website, and to members of the public, through both the blog and website, and through links such as M33 project when it opens next year. We would very much welcome membership of to enable us to connect to the many other organisations who are commemorating this centenary by adding to public knowledge of WW1 in order to ensure lasting remembrance.
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