Horrified spectators flock to see the HMS Vanguard aground in Portsmouth Harbour, 1960. The News PP5336
Horrified spectators flock to see the HMS Vanguard aground in Portsmouth Harbour, 1960. The News PP5336

17 photos remembering the Royal Navy’s ‘last battleship’ HMS Vanguard

Mostly remembered for the dramatic day she ran aground at Spice Island, we take a look back at a memorable ship that was only in service for 14 years.

Thursday, 30th July 2020, 4:44 pm

The ninth HMS Vanguard was the last and largest of Britain’s battleships and was commissioned in 1946.

She was 813ft length overall and 42,300 tons and built for the Royal Navy during the Second World War. One of her main roles was being the Royal Yacht during the royal family’s tour of South Africa in 1947.

She was broken up at Faslane in 1960 after being run aground at Portsmouth when she was on her way to the breakers yard.

She was never tested in combat, technology moved on and sadly there were severe budgetary constraints at the time she entered service, shortening her operational life.

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