On the afternoon of 28 September last our Chairman, Nick Hawkins, gave his presentation on ‘HMS Vanguard’.
He traced the 20th century purpose behind the building of such capital ships and the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922 which effectively limited the tonnage and fire power of such vessels. He picked up from there the reason why the Rodney and Nelson were of the odd design they were. The KGV- class were covered and various US battleships, and the eclipsing of the battleship as the major asset during the WW2 where the aircraft carrier and carrier borne engagements took place. Eventually the building of the Vanguard and the political reasons why it was built to give employment to Clydebank during the Labour Government. It was a miracle that she was built at all, but a fine-looking warship and the last of the line. She was used for King George VI’s Royal Tour and was present as a guardship at Cowes Week. The presentation ended with a Pathe ‘Look at Life’ about the Vanguard’s lay-up withdrawal from service and scrapping in Scotland in 1960, a rather sad end to the presentation. Nick then fielded a varied plethora of questions on the subject.