HMS Bulwark
Ship Number
Vessel Type
Hermes' Class Aircraft Carrier
Musgrave Yard
Slip Number
Launch Date
June 22, 1948
Launched By
The Countess Granville
November 2, 1954
23300 grt
BP Length
650 feet
90 feet
No. of Screws
Speed (approx)
28 knots
4 Admiralty 3-drum boilers, 2 shafts, Parsons geared turbines, 76,000 shp
Official No.
 HMS Bulwark

Pennant Number: R08
Bulwark and her sister ship Albion took part in the Suez attacks on Egypt in 1956, but were then converted to helicopter carriers in 1959-60 and 1961-62, respectively. Carrying 700-900 Royal Marines and embarking 16 Westland Wessex helicopters, they served off Aden and during the crisis with Indonesia in 1966.
Albion was scrapped in 1972 and Bulwark placed in reserve in 1976. However, she was recommissioned in 1979 as an anti-submarine helicopter carrier, releasing HMS Hermes from an amphibious warfare role.
On 27 March 1981, Bulwark returned to Portsmouth for the final time in her career. She was decommissioned into unmaintained reserve without any repairs being attempted to the damaged boilers or other fire damage. The carrier would however, remain intact for the next two years. During the early stages of the Falklands War it was announced that Bulwark would be reactivated and sent south to support the fleet, and then remain as a headquarters hulk at Port Stanley following the war. A rapid ship survey however, had determined that in addition to the unrepaired fire damage suffered in 1980, she had deteriorated too much for this to be practical.
She was finally declared for disposal in April 1983 and some material was removed as potential spares for Hermes. She remained anchored in harbour until she was towed from Portsmouth to Cairnryan to be scrapped in April 1984.