On Wednesday the Royal Navy's newest aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth (R08), arrived at her home port in Portsmouth, England. The £3 billion vessel ($3.8 billion) is the second British warship to bear the name "Queen Elizabeth" in honor of Queen Elizabeth I (technically the third, however the second ship was never built). The first warship to bear the name, however, was a double-war veteran.
Construction on the first HMS Queen Elizabeth (pictured) began in October 1913 & she was the lead ship in the new line of Queen Elizabeth-class battleships. She was completed and entered active service in January 1915. A couple of months later she was sent to the Dardanelles to participate in the operation at Gallipoli (being the sole dreadnought involved in the battle) where she served as the flagship for General Ian Hamilton, commander of the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force (MEF), during the initial invasion on April 25th.
She was withdrawn from the fight after the sinking of HMS Goliath on May 12, 1915, upon which she joined the Grand Fleet's 5th Battle Squadron. She was undergoing maintenance by the time the Battle of Jutland occurred in May/June 1916, & therefore missed it.
Between the two world wars Queen Elizabeth served as the Atlantic Fleet's flagship in the early 1920s & underwent construction twice; once during the latter half of that decade & again around the time of the start of World War 2. Upon completion of her second construction job in 1941, Queen Elizabeth rejoined the Mediterranean Fleet and covered the evacuation of Crete in June of that year. She received heavy damage from mines and Italian "frogmen" in December 1941 and thus was recalled for repairs. She underwent temporary repairs in Alexandria dry dock in June 1942 then sailed to Norfolk Naval Yard in the United States where she had full repairs from September 1942 to June 1943. After repairs Queen Elizabeth was sent to the Home Fleet in July, & in December left for the Eastern Fleet in the Pacific, which she joined in January 1945. Up until the end of the war in August she took part in numerous raids against Japanese bases in the Dutch East Indies. She was eventually scrapped in July 1948.