Naval History Homepage and Site Search



by Lt Cdr Geoffrey B Mason RN (Rtd) (c) 2003

HMS GLORIOUS - Courageous-class Fleet Aircraft Carrier

HMS Glorious and below with destroyer HMS Westminster  (Navy Photos/Mark Teadham, click to enlarge) return to Contents List  

Light battle cruiser ordered in 1915 from Armstrong's, High Walker, Newcastle on Tyne and laid down in May that year.  Launched on 20th April  1916 the ship was completed in January 1917.  The circumstances of her loss have long been  questionable (See CARRIER GLORIOUS  by J Winton and the Naval Staff History).



B a t t l e    H o n o u r s


NORWAY  1940


H e r a l d i c   D a t a

Badge : On a Field  Red, a  Rose gold  with  a centre Silver, and  the

radiating rays Silver.



Explicit Nomen:  'The  name  explains  itself'



D e t a i l s   o f   W a r   S e r v i c e


(for more ship information, go to Naval History Homepage and type name in Site Search



1 9 3 9



                3rd          Serving with Mediterranean Fleet at Alexandria and exercising in the eastern



October                  Deployed in Indian Ocean with HM Battleship MALAYA and HM Destroyer BULLDOG

                                in Hunting Force (See ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by C. Barnett).

                                (Note : During this period boiler tubes were replaced during non-operational

                                flying periods.


November              Indian Ocean deployment in continuation.



                10th        At Colombo

                29th        Passage with HM Cruiser KENT and French cruiser SUFFREN to rejoin Fleet in

                                the Mediterranean.


1 9 4 0


January                  Deployed with Mediterranean Fleet and prepared for refit.

                17th        Taken in hand for refit by HM Dockyard, Malta.


February                Under refit

to                            Post refit trials.



April                       Planned work-up with HM Aircraft Carrier ARK ROYAL in eastern Mediterranean

                                cancelled after German invasion of Norway.

                14th        Passage to Clyde with HM Australian Destroyer STUART for deployment with the

                                Home Fleet off Norway (Operation RUPERT/R4).

                19th        Nomination for cover of Trondheim landings (Operation HAMMER) cancelled.

                21st         Sailed from Clyde to rejoin Fleet.

                22nd .     Embarked RAF GLADIATOR aircraft, previously based at Filton, Bristol.

                23rd        Took passage from Scapa Flow with HMS ARK ROYAL, HM Cruiser BERWICK and

                                HM AA Cruiser CURLEW, screened by HM Destroyers FEARLESS, FURY, HASTY,

                                HEREWARD, HYPERION and JUNO to relieve HM Aircraft Carrier FURIOUS at

                                Narvik (Operation DX)

                                (Note : HMS CURLEW was fitted with aircraft warning radar equipment.

                                This was the first RN multi-carrier operation).

                24th        Commenced air operations in support of military.

                                GLADIATOR aircraft flew off to establish airfield on frozen lake in Romsdal


                25th        Aircraft operations in support of military and for shipping attacks.

                to            Four SKUA aircraft lost but crews recovered.

                26th        Operation extended 24 hours.

                                New screen provided comprising HM Destroyers BEAGLE, ENCOUNTER,

                                ESCORT, FORTUNE,  GRENADE and VOLUNTEER.

                27th        Returned to Scapa escorted by HM Destroyers BEAGLE, ENCOUNTER,

                                ESCORT, FURY, GRENADE, HASTY and VOLUNTEER to refuel and re-arm.

                30th        Sailed for Narvik after delay due to bad weather without all expected number

                                of replacement aircraft embarked.

                                Escort Included HM Destroyers ACHERON, ANTELOPE and BEAGLE.



                1st           Rejoined HMS ARK ROYAL and provided cover for evacuations at Andalsnes

                                and Molde. Provided A/S patrols and air cover for fleet and shipping protection.

                                Escorted HM Battleship VALIANT with HM Cruiser BERWICK.

                                Under heavy air attacks.

                2nd         Returned to Scapa Flow with HMS ARK ROYAL.

                3rd          Aircraft landed prior to passage to Clyde.

                4th          At Greenock to replenish and give leave.

                14th        Sailed for Norway with HMS FURIOUS.

                18th        Provided cover and Fleet protection with HMS ARK ROYAL and HMS FURIOUS.

                                (Note : This was the first time 3 RN carriers operated together).

                21st         Landed GLADIATOR aircraft for operation from shore.

                                Took passage to Scapa Flow.

                24th        Passage to Narvik area escorted by HM Destroyers WREN, ARROW and

                                HIGHLANDER to resume flying operations.

                26th        Flew off RAF HURRICANE aircraft to operate from airstrip at Skaanland.

                27th        Provided air cover during allied military operations to recapture Narvik.

                28th        During continuation of air cover intercepted enemy aircraft at Narvik during

                                allied attack.

                29th        Returned to Scapa Flow.



                1st           Passage to Narvik with HMS ARK ROYAL screened by HM Destroyers ACASTA,

                                ARDENT, ACHERON, DIANA and HIGHLANDER for support of evacuation

                                (Operation ALPHABET)

                2nd         Deployed at Narvik to embark RAF GLADIATOR aircraft.

                3rd          Detached with HMS HIGHLANDER and laid off Norwegian coast to conserve fuel.

                                (Note : Owing to lack of aircraft unable to take full part in covering the

                                evacuation of allied troops from Narvik with HMS ARK ROYAL.

                                For details see THE DOOMED EXPEDITION by Jack Adams, NARVIK by D


                4th          Rejoined HMS ARK ROYAL.

                6th          Launched SWORDFISH aircraft for bombing attack on German HQ at Hundallan.

                                Operation aborted because of weather and aircraft returned.

                7th          Began to embark RAF HURRICANE aircraft from shore for passage to UK.

                8th          On completion of recovery of RAF aircraft approval given to return to Scapa

                                Flow to prepare for courts martial.

                                Sailed for UK at 0253 escorted by HM Destroyers ACASTA and ARDENT.

                                Intercepted by German battleships SCHARNHORST and GNEISENAU.

                                In brief engagement all three British warships were sunk. (Casualty List - note on casualties)

                                (For further details See CARRIER GLORIOUS by John Winton, THE DOOMED

                                EXPEDITION by J Adams and Naval Staff History).

                                (Note ; The loss of these ships was the subject of an Inquiry.

                                Among the various factors leading to this loss was the failure to ensure

                                aircraft were available for reconnaissance and the wisdom of allowing

                                the ship to make an independent passage).






by Don Kindell






3 Nov 37 to 15 Jan 38

Weymouth Bay

16 Jan 38 to 17 Jan 38


21 Jan 38 to 21 Jan 38


24 Jan 38 to 7 Feb 38


12 Feb 38 to 21 Feb 38


25 Feb 38 to 3 Mar 38

Gibraltar (exercises)

7 Mar 38 to 25 Mar 38


27 Mar 38 to 16 May 38

Golfe Juan, France

18 May 38 to 24 May 38

Ajaccio, Corsica

25 May 38 to 29 May 38


31 May 38 to 27 Jul 38

Crkvenica, Yugoslavia

24 Jul 38 to 1 Aug 38

Argostoli, Greece

3 Aug 38 to 11 Aug 38

Patras, Greece

12 Aug 38 to 23 Aug 38


25 Aug 38 to 16 Sep 38

Vatika Bay, Greece

18 Sep 38 to 21 Sep 38


23 Sep 38 to 5 Nov 38






9 Nov 38 to 23 Jan 39


27 Jan 39 to 16 Feb 39


20 Feb 39 to 23 Feb 39


27 Feb 39 to 18 Mar 39


20 Mar 39 to 26 Apr 39


28 Apr 39 to 12 May 39


14 May 39 to 6 June 39


9 Jun 39 to 4 Jul 39

Phalerum Bay, Greece

7 Jul 39 to 14 Jul 39

Milos, Greece

15 Jul 39 to 18 Jul 39

Suda Bay, Crete

20 Jul 39 to 24 Jul 39


27 Jul 39 to 9 Aug 39

Limassol, Cyprus

11 Aug 39 to 14 Aug 39


15 Aug 39 to 11 Sep 39

East Mediterranean

11 Sep 39 to 16 Sep 39


16 Sep 39 to 9 Oct 39


13 Oct 39 to 13 Oct 39

Socotra area

15 Oct 39 to 6 Dec 39

Colombo, Ceylon

10 Dec 39 to 18 Dec 39

Trincomalee, Ceylon

21 Dec 39 to 29 Dec 39

Colombo, Ceylon

30 Dec 39 to 31 Dec 39






7 Jan 40 to 7 Jan 40


9 Jan 40 to 9 Jan 40


11 Jan 40 to 13 Jan 40


17 Jan 40 to 25 Mar 40




back to Contents List
or Naval-History.Net

revised 8/03/11
further editing and formatting is required