Royal Naval Museum



HMS Vanguard ship model

            Model of HMS Vanguard in case with crest

HMS Vanguard was launched on 30th November 1944 by Her Royal Highness Princess Elizabeth, and was the last battleship to serve in the Royal Navy. She was armed with eight 15-inch, sixteen 5.25 inch, and as a result of developments in technology throughout her building, numerous anti-aircraft guns with modern fire control and radar systems.

In 1947 Vanguard took part in the Royal tour of South Africa, before joining the Mediterranean Fleet in 1949. During the 1950s she alternated between Flagship of the Training Squadron and Flagship of the Home Fleet. The requirement for large battleships was becoming less and less and so Vanguard was placed in reserve at Portsmouth in 1956 and during this period, was used to film scenes for the film Sink the Bismarck.

On 4th August 1960, whilst being towed to the breakers at Faslane, she famously broke her tow and ran aground at the entrance to Portsmouth Harbour.

The model was presented to the ship in 1947 by the shipbuilders John Brown and acquired by the Royal Naval Museum in 1984. After full restoration in 2002, it is currently on display in the Princess Royal Gallery, together with the original bridge badge from the ship.

Model 1984/424 

Choice of Richard Noyce, Curator of Artefacts

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