HMS Hermes 95

HMS Hermes was a British aircraft carrier built for the Royal Navy and is acknowledged as the world’s first ship specifically designed as an aircraft carrier, though the Imperial Japanese Navy’s Hosho was the first to be commissioned.

Construction of Hermes began during World War I, but her completion was delayed until after the war due to numerous design changes after her keel was laid. After her launch, the Armstrong Whitworth shipyard, which constructed her, closed, halting her fitting out. Most modifications were made to optimize her design based on experiments with operational carriers.

Finally commissioned in 1924, Hermes briefly served with the Atlantic Fleet before being primarily assigned to the Mediterranean Fleet and the China Station. In the Mediterranean, she worked with other carriers to develop multi-carrier tactics. While stationed in China, she assisted in suppressing piracy in Chinese waters. Hermes returned to Britain in 1937 and was placed in reserve, later becoming a training ship in 1938.

At the onset of World War II in September 1939, Hermes was briefly assigned to the Home Fleet, conducting anti-submarine patrols in the Western Approaches. In October, she was transferred to Dakar to cooperate with the French Navy in targeting German commerce raiders and blockade runners.

After a brief refit, Hermes stayed in Dakar until the fall of France and the establishment of Vichy France in June 1940. Supported by several cruisers, she then blockaded Dakar and attempted to sink the French battleship Richelieu by deploying depth charges under her stern and launching Fairey Swordfish torpedo bombers for nighttime attacks. While returning from this mission, Hermes collided with a British armed merchant cruiser during a storm, requiring several months of repairs in South Africa. She then resumed patrolling for Axis shipping in the South Atlantic and the Indian Ocean.

In February 1941, Hermes supported Commonwealth forces in Italian Somaliland during the East African Campaign and performed similar duties in the Persian Gulf during the Anglo-Iraqi War two months later. Following this campaign, she spent the rest of the year patrolling the Indian Ocean. Hermes underwent a refit in South Africa from November 1941 to February 1942 before joining the Eastern Fleet in Ceylon.

On April 9, 1942, a Japanese scout plane spotted her near Batticaloa, and shortly afterward, she was attacked by several dozen dive bombers and quickly sunk by Japanese aircraft.

The wreck of Hermes was discovered in the Bay of Bengal around sixty years after she was sunk.

This edition print recorded on fine art stock via a large format mimeograph and generally referred to as Giclée prints of premium quality. The paper is white 100% a-cellulose with a distinct textured surface and the premium matt inkjet coating more than meets the highest industry standards vis-à-vis density, colour gamut, colour graduation and image sharpness, while preserving the extraordinary touch and feel of genuine art paper. The editions depicted on Iconic Reserve are not representative of scale and solely for the purpose of suggestive display.

The edition comes with a Sterling Silver anchor with a minimum millesimal fineness of 925 which is not pierced through the print but is available on request. The print is also available without the anchor on request.

Laid down: 15 - 01 - 1918
Launched: 11 - 10 - 1919
Displacement: 10,850 long tons
Length: 600 ft
Speed: 25 knots
Range: 5,600 nautical miles
Propulsion: x2 Shafts, x2 Geared steam turbine sets
Complement: 566
Fate: Sunk 1942
Classification: Aircraft carrier


Signed limited edition
1 of 200, 470mm x 210mm
Fine art paper 230 gsm