HMS Bulwark 1777

THE FIRST BULWARK in 1777

The current assault ship is the seventh RN warship to bear the name in a history that stretches back to 1777 but despite her naming, the keel was never laid and she was later cancelled.

THE SECOND BULWARK in 1807

The second Bulwark made it through build and was launched in April 1807, and served for almost two decades, seeing service in the American War of 1814-15. She was broken up in 1825.

THE THIRD BULWARK in 1859

The next Bulwark suffered a similar fate to the first – laid down in 1859, her build was put on hold, and she lay dry until being dismantled in 1872.

THE FOURTH BULWARK in 1860

The fourth, a wooden first-rate 121-gun battleship, made it to launch in 1860, notched up her steam trials in 1861, but was never completed for sea.

THE FIFTH BULWARK in 1899

The fifth, a 15,000-ton twin-screw battleship, was launched at Devonport in 1899, and claims the Antarctic explorer Capt Robert Falcon Scott as one of her commanding officers.

EXPLOSION in 1914

She also suffered an ill-fated end off Sheerness in November 1914 – while loading on ammunition an internal explosion tore the heart of the ship apart, killing all but 12 of the 750 ship’s company.

THE SIXTH BULWARK in 1948

The 22,000-ton light fleet carrier, launched in June 1948, was the last holder of the name. She saw service in the Suez Crisis before being modified to a pure helicopter commando carrier in 1959.

THE RUSTY B in 1976

She retired in 1976 , but returned in 1979 as an anti-submarine warfare carrier – living up to her nickname ‘The Rusty B’, drawn from her motto ‘Under thy wings I will (t)rust’.