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Valiant file photo [1906]


CountryUnited Kingdom
Ship ClassQueen Elizabeth-class Battleship
BuilderFairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Company, Govan, Scotland, United Kingdom
Laid Down31 Jan 1913
Launched4 Nov 1914
Commissioned19 Feb 1916
Decommissioned1 Mar 1948
Displacement32,468 tons standard; 36,513 tons full
Length660 feet
Beam91 feet
Draft30 feet
Machinery8 Admiralty 3-drum boilers, 4 Parsons steam turbines
Bunkerage3,393t oil
Power Output80,000 shaft horsepower
Speed23 knots
Armament4x2x15in guns, 10x2x4.5in guns, 4x8x2pdr guns, 4x4x0.5in Vickers machine guns, 26x2x20mm Oerlikon cannon
Armor6-13in belt, 4-6in bulkheads, 4-10in barbettes, 11-13in turrets, 11in conning tower, 6in director tower, 4-6in torpedo tubes, 1-3in deck


ww2dbaseHMS Valiant entered British Royal Navy service in 1916, initially serving with the Fifth Battle Squadron of the Grand Fleet. She participated in the Battle of Jutland later in the same year, during which she would expend 288 15-inch shells. Between 1919 and 1924, she was assigned to the 1st Battle Squadron of the Atlantic Fleet. Between 1924 and Mar 1929, she was assigned to the 1st Battle Squadron of the Mediterranean Fleet. She underwent a major refit between 1929 and 1930, during which her anti-torpedo bulges were added, her two funnels were merged into one, two of her torpedo tubes were removed, her aircraft platforms were replaced by a catapult, and she received a octuple 2-pounder anti-aircraft mounting. She returned to service in Dec 1930. In Sep 1931, her crew participated in the Invergordon Mutiny, during which her crew protested cuts in pay. Between Mar 1932 and Jul 1935, she was assigned to the Home Fleet. Between Jul 1935 and 1936, she was assigned to the Mediterranean Fleet. In 1936, she received a second octuple 2-pounder mounting. Between Mar 1937 and Nov 1939, at Devonport in Britain, she received another major refit, during which her machinery was changed to eight Admiralty 3-drum boilers with four Parsons steam turbines, her armor thickened, and she received modern fire control systems.

ww2dbaseHMS Valiant emerged from her latest refitting after the European War had already started. Her first combat mission took her to the coast of Norway in Apr 1940. In early 1941, she bombarded Tripoli, Libya alongside of HMS Barham and HMS Warspite. Shortly after, she participated in the attack on the French fleet at Mers-el-Kébir, French Algeria and the Battle of Cape Matapan south of Greece. During the final stages of the Balkans Campaign, she was struck by two German aerial bombs off Crete, Greece in May 1941. In Dec 1941, she was seriously damaged while in harbor at Alexandria, Egypt by Italian frogman Lieutenant Durand de la Penne. Although she sank in shallow water, she remained in place for some time to provide a false impression of her active participation in this theater of war. She was ultimate repaired in Durban, South Africa, returning to service in time to provide naval gunfire support for the Allied invasion of Sicily and then Salerno in Italy in 1943. When Italy signed the armistice with the Allies, HMS Valiant was one of the Allied warships that escorted the Italian fleet to Malta. In 1944, she was assigned to the Eastern Fleet, supporting raids against Japanese bases in the Dutch East Indies. In Aug 1944, at Trincomalee, Ceylon, she suffered some damage when the floating drydock in which she was docked suddenly collapsed; as the result of her damage, she was ordered to Alexandria, Egypt for repairs. Upon completion of repairs, she returned to Britain in 1945, and was decommissioned in Jul 1945 shortly before the end of the Pacific War.

ww2dbaseOut of commission, HMS Valiant served as a stoker mechanics' training ship at the training establishment HMS Imperieuse in Devonport in southwestern England, United Kingdom. She would serve in this role until being sold for scrapping in Mar 1948.

US Naval History and Heritage Command

Last Major Revision: Nov 2013


Valiant following her 1929-1930 refit, circa 1930-1933HMS Valiant firing her BL 15-inch Mk I guns, circa 1939
See all 9 photographs of Battleship Valiant

Valiant Operational Timeline

31 Jan 1913 The keel of Valiant was laid down by Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Company in Govan, Scotland, United Kingdom.
4 Nov 1914 Valiant was launched at Govan, Scotland, United Kingdom.
19 Feb 1916 HMS Valiant was commissioned into service with Captain Maurice Woollcombe as her first commanding officer.
24 Aug 1916 HMS Valiant collided with HMS Warspite, causing some damage.
18 Sep 1916 HMS Valiant completed repairs for the damaged incurred during a collision with HMS Warspite in the previous month.
2 Dec 1930 HMS Valiant was recommissioned into service after refitting.
23 Dec 1940 British destroyer HMS Havock collided with battleship HMS Valiant during gunnery practice, causing the destroyer to be out of commission for repairs until 20 Feb 1941.
21 Apr 1941 In Operation MD2, British battleships HMS Warspite, HMS Barham, and HMS Valiant, supported by cruiser HMS Gloucester and 9 destroyers, bombarded Tripoli before dawn. Aircraft from carrier HMS Formidable dropped flares to aid the bombardment as it took place before dawn. Italian torpedo boat Partenope and 6 freighters were damaged.
22 Apr 1941 British warships bombarded Tripoli, Libya. On the return trip, battleship HMS Valiant hit a mine and was lightly damaged.
21 Mar 1944 HMS Cumberland carried out offensive sweep in Indian Ocean with HM Battleships Queen Elizabeth, Valiant, HM Battlecruiser Renown, HM Aircraft Carrier Illustrious, HM Cruisers London, Gambia and Ceylon screened by fleet destroyers. (Operation Diplomat).
25 Jul 1944 HMS Cumberland, along with Eastern Fleet for offensive operation against targets in Sumatra including HMS Queen Elizabeth, HMS Valiant, HMS Renown, French battleship Richelieu, HM Cruisers Nigeria, Kenya, Ceylon and Gambia and screened by five fleet destroyers, bombarded Japanese positions at Sabang (Operation Crimson).
8 Aug 1944 HMS Valiant was damaged at Trincomalee, Ceylon when the floating drydock in which she was docked suddenly collapsed.
1 Mar 1948 Valiant was decommissioned from service.
19 Mar 1948 HMS Valiant was sold for scrap while at Devonport, Devon, England, United Kingdom.
11 Aug 1948 HMS Valiant departed Devonport, England, United Kingdom for the Arnott Young ship breakers at Cairnryan, Scotland, United Kingdom.

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Anonymous says:
7 Aug 2006 04:03:13 PM

I am looking for a set of plans form the HMS Malaya. If anyone is able to help me out please drop me an email.
15 Nov 2016 05:30:24 AM

3. Keith Charlton says:
24 Jul 2017 04:02:55 PM

My father, Frank Charlton, I think was a wireless operator on the Valiant for most of WW2. Anyone any recollections?
4. Yvonne McCann says:
1 Aug 2017 11:13:26 AM

My father Peter Charles Baglee served on HMS Valiant from 1939 as a radio officer until it was sunk in Alexadria harbour. He saw the sinking of HMS Barham
5. Janet woolgar says:
3 Aug 2017 09:58:48 AM

My father in law served on HMS Valiant and was in gunnery control. His name was HARRY WOOLGAR
6. john hart says:
28 Aug 2017 05:31:25 PM

does anyone have a crewe list for hms valiant.
im sure my dad told me he served on this ship. my dad is :
william cann hart.
7. Anonymous says:
26 Sep 2017 12:12:52 PM

My father in law was one of the few survivors of HMS valiant. He was an able seaman. David Mills
8. Anonymous says:
8 Dec 2018 07:56:17 AM

My dad was on HMS Valiant as no. 6 R gunner. Donald George King in April 41 and Feb 42 to 44.
9. Paul Rishman says:
1 Dec 2019 05:18:35 PM

I am also seeking a crew listing. My Father Albert C.A.G Rishman served onboard HMS Valiant between 28 Apr 1941 and 5 Nov 1942.
10. Robert says:
23 Jan 2020 01:33:35 PM

Searching for AB R. Bishop, 19 Mess, HMS Valiant, in 1943. Can anyone give his first name, where from, what happened to him?
11. Anonymous says:
24 May 2020 01:17:30 PM

My grandfather Samuel Robert Vaughan Roberts was Chief Stoker on HMS Valiant from August 1932- August 1934.
12. Sherry says:
30 Jun 2020 04:44:50 AM

Hi, l am trying to find some info on my grandfather. I believe he was Prince Philips personal steward during the war. I would love to find out if he (Alfred Pickard) was on the crew list.
13. Shirley Jones(née Meli) says:
14 Sep 2021 12:31:24 AM

Is there a list if names of the crew( Stewards) when Prince Philip served on the HMAS Valiant
14. Anonymous says:
10 Oct 2021 11:08:26 AM

My father Petty officer Thomas Trevor Williams (writer) served on the Valiant at Alexandria when it was attacked by the Italians, a call went out for an interpreter to find out where the captured Italians had planted the mine to which my father put himself forward.
My father was very taken by Captain Ashmore and made contact via Buckingham Palace with his son in the 1990s. I remember seeing a photo of the Valiant with the crew wearing firefighting suits which I believe included my father and would like to locate.
15. Anonymous says:
19 Jun 2023 11:01:34 AM

I have photos of the crew on HMS Valiant in WWII,my grandfather served on the ship as a naval officer.One of the photo's has Prince Phillip in it.Is there any way to share these photos on here?I also have a newspaper article saying about how the HMS Valiant saved another battle ship that was sinking by ramming their ship into a German submarine.

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More on Valiant
Event(s) Participated:
» Invasion of Denmark and Norway
» British Attacks on the French Fleet
» Balkans Campaign
» Battle of Matapan
» Underwater Raid of Alexandria
» Invasion of Sicily and Italy's Surrender
» Operation Avalanche
» Operation Cockpit and Operation Transom

Battleship Valiant Photo Gallery
Valiant following her 1929-1930 refit, circa 1930-1933HMS Valiant firing her BL 15-inch Mk I guns, circa 1939
See all 9 photographs of Battleship Valiant

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