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HMS Argus in the Second World War 1939-1945 - The Wartime Memories Project -

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- HMS Argus during the Second World War -

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HMS Argus

   HMS Argus was built at Glasgow, Scotland intended to be a passenger liner named "Conte Rosso" owned by the Italians. Construction was suspended after the outbreak of World War I and she was converted into an aircraft carrier, first to have a full-length flight deck. She was launched in 1918.

HMS Argus served a training ship during the Second World War, but also saw action in 1942, when she served with Force H and later HMS Argus supported the landings in North Africa. She was reduced to reserve late in 1943 and was used as an accommodation ship. HMS Argus was scrapped in December 1946.


2nd August 1940 Hurricanes arrive in Malta

18th November 1940 Hurricanes lost on delivery operation

3rd January 1943 Aircraft carrier training

If you can provide any additional information, please add it here.

Those known to have sailed in

HMS Argus

during the Second World War 1939-1945.

The names on this list have been submitted by relatives, friends, neighbours and others who wish to remember them, if you have any names to add or any recollections or photos of those listed, please Add a Name to this List

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There are 1 pages in our library tagged HMS Argus  These include information on officers service records, letters, diaries, personal accounts and information about actions during the Second World War.

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Forbes Franklin HMS Argus

My uncle, Forbes Franklin, trained at HMS Collingwood and subsequently served on HMS Argus where he was killed. Before the war he was captain of Deal Rowing Club and after the war a boat was named after him which can still be seen in Deal Museum. Any further information would be appreciated.

Paul Harris

Geoffrey Giles HMS Argus

I am proud of my dad, Geoff Giles, a Yorkshireman who passed away in Bridlington in 2001. He served during WW2 on HMS Argus and loved the sea. He told me his ukelele and friends carried him through the war. He volunteered for the Navy to avoid flying (volunteers could pick their area of service) and told me about when the Argus was hit by a torpedo and survived. He used to swing on his own on a bar under the deck at the front of the carrier. He met my mother Elizabeth at docks on the Clyde during repairs between convoys, they married in 1949. In loving memory.

David Giles

CPO. Peter Barnard Lornie HMS Queen Elizabeth

Peter Lornie joined the Royal Navy on August 20 1940. His initial rank was that of Assistant Steward. He was promoted to Leading Steward in February 1941. In January 1943 he was posted to Petty Officer Steward and in January 1945 to a/COG Steward. He was discharged on 26th December 1945.

Peter was posted to the battleship HMS Queen Elizabeth in January 1941 and on 11 February was promoted to Leading Steward. Queen Elizabeth had been rebuilt twice between Wars. She re-joined the Fleet at Scapa Flow in February 1941 and served in the Atlantic and later in the Mediterranean. Peter was on board when HMS Queen Elizabeth was attacked and sunk at her moorings in Alexandria Harbour by Italian frogmen on 19 December 1941.

On 9 May 1942 he joined the cruiser HMS Sirius as a Petty Officer Steward. HMS Sirius was a Dido-class cruiser built in Portsmouth. Her keel was laid in April 1938 and she was launched on the 18 September 1940, and commissioned 6 May 1942. Peter served on HMS Sirius as Petty Officer (Steward) and one of his officers was Commander Richard Colville (later to become Press Secretary to the King and subsequently to Queen Elizabeth. (Peter would receive a Christmas Card from Colville postmarked Buckingham Palace well into the post war period). Peter served on board Sirius until she was bombed on 17th October 1943 and he was injured and hospitalised with multiple wounds to the right hip, thigh, shoulder and left ankle being closed up at his action station while the ship was engaging enemy aircraft. He was wounded as described consequent on the ship receiving a direct hit and several near misses. 14 men were killed and 30 wounded. Sirius returned to Alexandria and later sailed to Massama in Eritrea for repairs.

On 5 January 1945 he joined Force W as an acting Chief Petty Officer (Steward) and was part of Naval Party 2420 serving in the Far East. It has not been possible to determine which ship he served on at this time.

2420 Flag Officer Force W & Staff (attached to Admiralty 10.44 - 11.44/left UK for Delhi 20.11.44/to Chittagong area 12.44/ to Burma (Akyab) 02.45/ Force W to Delhi 05.45/ in India to 08.45/embarked BULOLO*) Chittagong 01.45/Akyab 02-03.45/Kyaukpyu, Ramree Is 04-05.45/Delhi 06-07.45/Bombay08-09.45/BULOLO 09-10.45/ Singapore 11.45 - 01.46/ title lapsed 02.46

Peter Lornie was discharged on 26 December 1945. Peter was awarded the Burma campaign medal along with 39 - 45 Star, Africa Star with North Africa Bar, France and Germany Star and War Medal.

Record of Service 1940 - 45

  • Royal Arthur 20 August 1940 Assistant Steward
  • Victory 2 27 September 1940 Assistant Steward
  • Queen Elizabeth 14 January 1941 Assistant Steward
  • Queen Elizabeth 11 February 1941 Leading Steward
  • Victory 15 January 1942 Leading Steward
  • Sirius 9 May 1942 Leading Steward
  • Sirius 27 January 1943 Petty Officer Steward 17 October 1943 - Injured in bombing attack
  • Victory 2 April 1944 Petty Officer Steward
  • Argus 8 August 1944 Petty Officer Steward
  • Victory 6 December 1944 Petty Officer Steward
  • Odyssey (Force W) 1 January 1945 5 January 1945 a/COG Steward
  • Braganza (NP.2420) 1 June 1945
  • Victory 7 September 1945
  • Victory 26 December 1945 Released Class A

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