HMS Trincomalee is hoping to kick start its bicentenary celebrations with the launch of a new display on board the historic ship.

The world’s oldest warship still afloat, which forms part of The National Museum of the Royal Navy family, is fundraising to create a unique display in honour of the first female passenger to travel on her.

The HMS Trincomalee Trust is hoping to raise £500 through crowdfunding for its Eliza Bunt display. Eliza travelled on the ship from Sri Lanka, formerly known as Ceylon, to Portsmouth from 1818-1819 after her husband died and the Royal Navy took responsibility for her journey home.

Eliza recorded her journey while on board HMS Trincomalee and the display will include items mentioned in her diary, which was a frank account of a woman’s experience on a Royal Navy ship in the early 19th Century.

The HMS Trincomalee Trust has embarked on a fundraising campaign to help preserve the ship for future generations, and the display will also coincide with the centenary year of the Women’s Royal Naval Service (WRNS).

Helen Loynes, Fundraising Manager for the HMS Trincomalee Trust, said: “Eliza Blunt was an inspirational woman and her diary offers a rare insight into life on board a Naval ship in the early 19th Century. A display depicting her journey and the wider history of the Royal Navy at that point in time would be a great addition to HMS Trincomalee and allow visitors to gain even more knowledge.

“It is vitally important to recognise the efforts of the Women’s Royal Navy Service and its centenary celebrations, which coincides perfectly with the 200th anniversary year of HMS Trincomalee, and hopefully we will be able to offer visitors an even greater experience when visiting the ship.”

As an independent fundraising entity, the HMS Trincomalee Trust is responsible for the conservation and maintenance of the ship and depends entirely on income from grants and donations.

For more information about the fundraising of the Eliza Bunt display, visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/NMRN-National-Museum-of-the-Royal-Navy1