UK: Crowds Acclaim HMS Cornwall at Farewell Parade

This is the last time you will see men and women with the letters ‘HMS Cornwall’ on their caps marching together, as one, in public.

The final act in the life of their proud ship was played out to a soundtrack of cheers and applause as the people of the frigate’s namesake county lined the streets of Truro.

Just days after the Fighting 99 – the very last Type 22 frigate serving under the White Ensign – was formally decommissioned in her home base of Devonport, her sailors officially severed ties with the county whose name she has carried around the world since the late 1980s.

The ship’s company exercised their historic right to march through the county town’s streets bearing arms – a right they enjoy thanks to the Freedom of Truro being bestowed on them.

The hour-long march, led by the Band of HM Royal Marines, ended in Prince’s Street, right in front of the city hall, where Cdre Jamie Miller, the Navy’s regional commander, took the salute and Cornwall’s Lord Lieutenant Lady Mary Holborow inspected the Guard of Honour and thanked the sailors for their turn-out – and their service for their nation.

The parade was followed by a service of thanksgiving in the cathedral just a matter of yards away. It was a ‘full house’ with the pews filled for the historic occasion.

“The support that my predecessors and I have received from the County of Cornwall has been huge and has been a consistent source of comfort throughout all the ship has done.”

“It is an honour to have been there today,” said Cornwall’s final Commanding Officer Cdr David Wilkinson.

The fate of his ship is undecided. As for his 250-strong ship’s company, they are now being dispersed around the rest of the Fleet.


Source: royalnavy, July 18, 2011;