Description: HMS Vanguard – Lapel Badge
Condition: Very Good
Comments: HMS Vanguard – Lapel Badge. Approx 50mm in size. Possibly an association badge.
HMS Vanguard was a British fast battleship built during World War II and commissioned after the war. She was the only ship of her class and was the biggest, fastest and last of the Royal Navy’s battleships, and the final battleship to be launched in the world. Work on the ship’s design commenced before the war because the Royal Navy anticipated being outnumbered by the combined German and Japanese battleships in the early 1940s.
The existing Lion-class battleship design was modified to suit Vanguard’s main armament. The British had enough guns and gun turrets in storage to allow one battleship to be built relatively quickly, but the work was started and stopped several times during the war. Even after construction had begun, her design was revised several times to reflect war experience, and these changes prevented her from being completed during the war.
Vanguard’s first task after completing her sea trial at the end of 1946 was, early the next year, to convey King George VI and his family on the first Royal Tour of South Africa by a reigning monarch. While refitting after her return, she was selected for another Royal Tour of Australia and New Zealand in 1948. This was cancelled, however, by King George’s declining health, and Vanguard briefly became flagship of the Mediterranean Fleet in early 1949.
After her return home in mid-1949, she became flagship of the Home Fleet Training Squadron. Throughout her career, the battleship usually served as the flagship of whichever unit she was assigned to. During the early 1950s, Vanguard was involved in a number of training exercises with NATO forces. In 1953 she participated in Queen Elizabeth II’s Coronation Review. While she was refitting in 1955, the Admiralty announced that the ship was going to be put into reserve upon completion of the work. Vanguard was sold for scrap and was broken up beginning in 1960.