Last week in the centre of Princess’ South Yard superyacht facility saw the Royal Navy as well as local dignitaries gather to pay homage to a great warship – HMS Warspite. Historic South Yard is currently the home of the Princess M CLASS superyacht line, with five 40M yacht flagships having now been produced or in production, plus seven 32M yacht models and the new motor yacht Princess 35M under construction. Number three slip itself is still working hard, now known as the M CLASS Slip, it is used for all M launches.
Launched on the 26th of November 1913, down Number three Slip, HMS Warspite was a Queen Elizabeth Class battleship and the Royal Navy’s most decorated warship, having seen active service through two World Wars.
Warspite was involved in the battle of Jutland, the First World War’s biggest naval battle, pitching the Royal Navy’s Grand Fleet against the Imperial German Navy’s High Seas Fleet. During the battle Warspite suffered major damage, at one point losing steerage, but still fought on. In spite of her injuries, very few crew were killed or injured and the warship returned safely to port.
At the ceremony, Base commander Commodore Graeme Little called HMS Warspite “the greatest battleship ever built, remaining a dominant force for over 30 years” and paid homage to those who served onboard and supported her. Little also described Number Three Slip, which dates back to the 17th Century, as the most historic slip in Royal Naval history and thanked Princess for loaning it back to the Navy on this special occasion.