HMS Guardian

Vessel name on Arrival: HMS Guardian

HMS Guardian (1932) seen here in 1934

Original Builder: Chatham Dockyard, Chatham

Original Yard No:

Official Number:

Vessel Type: Netlayer

GRT: 2906

Year Built: 1933

Arrival Date: 27/11/1962

Breakup Started: 22/03/1963

Date First Beached: 06/10/1963

Date Breakup Completed: 10/10/1963

Draught For’d: 8' 6"

Draught Aft: 12' 0"

Name Changes:

Other Information:


HMS Guardian was a special-design twin-screw net-laying vessel for the Royal Navy


15-10-1931  :    Laid Down

01-09-1932   :   Launched

13-06-1933   :   Completed & Commissioned

01-01-1962   :   De-Commissioned


Length   :   338 feet

 Breadth :     53 feet

Draught :     13 feet  10 inches


Propulsion  :   2 x Steam Turbines  +  2 x Steam Boilers developing an output of 6,500 SHP


Vessel Speed  :   18 knots


Complement  :   181 Officers and Ratings


Armaments  :   2  x  Q/F 4-inch Naval Guns




The role of HMS Guaradian

In additon to her primary role as a net-laying vessel for the Royal Navy, HMS Guardian also equipped for target towing and gunnery photography. 


Service history

HMS Guardian was ordered as part of the 1930 naval programme, the first purpose-built netlayer for the Royal Navy. She was laid down at Chatham Dockyard on 15 October 1931, was launched on 1 September 1932 and completed on 13 June 1933.


Guardian served in the Indian Ocean between 1941 and 1942; she took part in the invasion of Madagascar and helped build a base in the Maldives at Addu Atoll in 1942, in case Ceylon fell into Japanese hands. She also built two more bases for the protection of merchant ships assembling for convoys; one was near Mombasa and the other near Cape Town.


HMS Guardian then returned to Gibraltar and took part in the invasion of Algeria at Oran (Mers-el-Kebir) in 1942. Afterwards, she returned to Belfast for a refit and the fitting of additional anti-aircraft weaponry. Later, she took part in the invasions of Sicily (Operation Husky) and Italy.


In 1952, HMS Guardian was taken out of the Reserve Fleet storage on the River Tamar between Devonport and Saltash and towed to Newport for a refit and modernisation, which was completed in 1954. She was then mothballed and returned to rejoin the reserve fleet at Plymouth.