HMS Hermes
Sea vessels

New Campaign To Save HMS Hermes From The Scrapyard Launched

HMS Hermes was decommissioned in 2017, after ending her career with the Indian Navy.

HMS Hermes

HMS Hermes had a remarkably long career (Picture: Royal Navy).

A UK campaign to spare a former British aircraft carrier from the scrapyard is back on after a plan to turn her into a hotel in India failed.

HMS Hermes played a crucial role in the Falklands War and was decommissioned in 2017, after ending her career with the Indian Navy.

Andy Trish is the man behind the British campaign to save the former HMS Hermes and served on her during the Falklands War.

"HMS Hermes is like home to the people who served on board, we all loved her," he explained.

"She deserves to be saved and turned into a museum."

Two years ago, Mr Trish was invited on board for an event and was impressed to see HMS Hermes was still in good shape. 

"The Indians have really looked after her," he said speaking of the condition of the ship.

Watch: Andy Trish says HMS Hermes deserves to be saved and turned into a museum".

Putting her back into a port in the UK would enhance the Navy's outlook and the public outlook of the Navy, according to Mr Trish.

A variety of investors and museums are expected to help with the project. 

The team behind the campaign have currently spoken to representatives in India and the British government and are awaiting further instructions on how to bid for the ship.

Before being decommissioned in 2017, HMS Hermes had a remarkably long career, escaping the threat of being sent to the scrapyard several times over the decades.

Building work began at Barrow-in-Furness, in 1944.

HMS Hermes now INS Viraat SOURCE Andy Trish.jpg
HMS Hermes played a crucial role in the Falklands War.

However, the Second World War ended before HMS Elephant – as she was going to be called – could be completed.

Construction stuttered back into life in 1952 just to get the hull off the slipway, and the vessel was still unfinished in 1957.

In 1959, the ship, now named Hermes after the winged messenger of the Greek gods, was finally commissioned into the Royal Navy – soon to star in this admiralty training film.

Only six years later, plans were drawn up to be rid of the Centaur Class carrier.

She was offered out to the Australian Royal Navy in 1966.

After an exercise with the Australians in 1968, they decided HMS Hermes would be too expensive to operate and man.

HMS Hermes now INS Viraat during an Indian Navy ceremony SOURCE Andy Trish.jpg
HMS Hermes, which is now known as INS Viraat, was sold to India in 1987.

In 1982, the ship should have been decommissioned after a defence review which aimed to make the Royal Navy considerably smaller.

However, the Falklands War then started.

HMS Hermes left Portsmouth to try to retake the Falklands from the Argentines, setting out on the long journey just three days after the invasion had taken place.

Hermes took with a dozen sea harriers and 18 sea king helicopters. More joined en-route.

Her harriers operated at the limit of their endurance radius but were extremely successful.

After the war, Hermes remained in service until 1984.

In 1987, she transferred to the Indian Navy and she served there until 2017.