It was over a century after HMS Victory’s role in the Battle of Trafalgar before her future was finally secured for the nation. The early twentieth century saw the ship afloat in Portsmouth as the Flagship of the Commander in Chief (a role she retains to this day). The centenary of the Battle of Trafalgar in 1905 renwed interest in the ship and she was a popular choice for postcard makers down to her important place in the country’s maritime history:
In this image of the ship from the Edwardian era she looks very different to how she appeared at Trafalgar, and indeed how she appears today. The bulwarks of the ship were increased in 1816 during a refit and these remain in place here, giving her a much ‘heavier’ appearance:
The bows of the ship were also redesigned by the navy surveyor Sir Robert Seppings which gave them a practical rounded shape:
Note also the small building on her foredeck and the white and black colouring of her stripes which replaced the yellow and black colouring of Trafalgar.
Happily by 1910 her importance had come to the fore and after the First World War she was moved into dry dock and opened to the public in 1928. Slowly over the next ninety years her appearance has been restored to be much closer to that of Trafalgar than she appears in this postcard.