The History of the Ninth Vanguard of the Royal Navy
1944 - 1960
                                                                                               LIST OF CAPTAINS

                                                                      15  Oct.   1945    Capt. W.G. Agnew C.B, C.V.O.,D.S.O.
                                                                      29  Mar.  1947    Capt. F.R.Parham D.S.O.
                                                                      28  July   1949    Capt. G.V.Gladstone
                                                                      18  Aug. 1950    Capt. D.H.Hall-Thompson
                                                                      21  Dec.  1951    Capt. J.S.S.  Litchfield O.B.E.
                                                                      18  Jan.   1953    Capt. R.A. Ewing D.S.C.
                                                                      12  May  1954    Capt. Sir St. J. Tyrwhitt

                                                                                                  RESERVE FLEET

                                                                       1  Jan.    1955    Cdr. H.G.Barnard
                                                                       9  Jan.    1956    Cdr. J.N Garnett D.S.C.
                                                                       1 Dec.    1956    Capt.  A.G.Poe (S.O. Reserve Fleet)
                                                                       3 July     1958    Capt.   N.W.Fisher (S.O.Reserve Fleet)

The ninth Vanguard was a product of World War II, the order to build her having been given to John Brown & Co. of Clydebank on 14th March 1941.

Her keel was laid on 2nd October the same year, on the slip next to that on which the liners Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth were built a few years earlier. She was originally designed for a light displacement of 40,000 tons, on an overall length of 820 feet and a beam of 108 feet, but the many lessons of the war which were incorporated in her design, and the fitting of additional equipment that  became necessary with wartime weapon development,  resulted in a considerable increase in this tonnage. It was a small coincidence that this Vanguard was as broad as the first, was long.
Her armament consisted of eight 15-inch, sixteen 5.25 inch and many close range anti-aircraft guns, with the most modern fire-control and radar systems.

The ship was launched by Her Royal Highness the Princess Elizabeth on 30th November 1944.
Strenuous efforts were made to complete her fitting out in time for her to take part in the final assault on Japan, but the unexpectedly sudden surrender of the Eastern enemy deprived her of this experience. Some compensation  accrued, however, as the final few months of her fitting out was less rushed and some relaxation had been possible in the austerity of war-time finish.

She commissioned  for trials on 25th April, 1946 under the command of Captain W. C. Agnew, C.B., C.V.O., D.S.O.*

The first few months of the newly commissioned Vanguard were very quiet until it was announced that the ship would be used to take the Royal Family to South Africa  in early 1947. As the Vanguard was to be used as a 'Royal Yacht' the voyage required some considerable alterations to the accommodation for the Royal Family and their retinue. The visit was a complete success and on the return voyage a visit was made to the island of St. Helena and a stop was made just off the coast of Ascension Island. Shortly after arriving back in England in May 1947 a cargo of gold bullion was delivered to The Bank of England.

A further quiet period in Plymouth ensued until the summer of 1948 when it was announced that another Royal Tour would be made from  January to July 1949 ; this time to Australia and New Zealand. After spending sometime in the Mediterranean, Vanguard returned home to Plymouth to prepare for the journey and shortly after her arrival received the news that in view of the King's health the proposed tour had been cancelled.

In February 1949 Vanguard joined the Mediterranean Fleet and visited a number of ports including:- Algiers, Toulon, Naples, Malta, Tripoli, Venice, Palermo, Famagusta, Port Said, Beirut and Athens.

A lengthy period followed during which time Vanguard changed between being the Flagship of the Training Squadron and Flagship of the Home Fleet a number of times. In between times   Vanguard performed all manner of duties from 'showing the flag' to escorting various Royalty and Heads of State.  Finally in 1951 it was announced that Vanguard would be Flagship of the Home Fleet.

At the end of 1954 Vanguard went into Devonport for a refit and on completion at the end of 1955. was placed in reserve instead of returning to the Home Fleet as anticipated. In October 1956 Vanguard became flagship of the Reserve Fleet. During her time in the reserve fleet  moored in  Fareham Creek, scenes for the film " Sink the Bismarck" , were filmed on board. Also during this time there was controversy over her future.  It came on 9th October, 1959 when it was announced that the Vanguard would be scrapped  the following year.  Vanguard was sold for scrap for £560,000.

When the day came, 4 August, 1960, for her to be towed from Portsmouth to the breakersyard at Faslane, Scotland the whole of Southsea  sea front was packed with people to see her leave port. However, she did not go quietly.  As she was being towed towards the harbour entrance ,she slewed across the harbour to the Still & West public house and went aground.  She was eventually pulled off  by tugs and finally and made her exit from Portsmouth.  Five days later she arrived at Faslane and by the spring of 1962  Vanguard  ceased to exist.
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