HMS Montrose Visits Twinned Town

HMS Montrose Visits Twinned Town

The South West warship Royal Navy warship HMS Montrose visited its affiliated town of Montrose. The Plymouth-based frigate reaffirmed the strong links the ship and the Royal Navy has with the community which has its own maritime heritage.

The commanding officer of HMS Montrose Commander James Parkin, said:

“I am delighted that my team were able to meet so many of our friends in Montrose and thank them for their continued support to my ship’s company.

“Although saddened I could not be there myself, I was heartened to hear about welcome they received, and the mutual affection that clearly exists between the ship and “our” town.

“Although we will deploy overseas for seven months later this summer, we will be back early next year, and I very much look forward to bringing HMS Montrose into Montrose port next summer.”

Montrose has provided wharves for hundreds of ships over the centuries and in World War 2 was a base for Norwegian and other Allied minesweepers protecting and patrolling the North Sea.

The sight of sailors in the town is therefore, not unusual and the residents of Montrose enjoyed seeing their new visitors which celebrated 20 years of visits since the ship was, name after the Duke of Montrose, commissioned in 1994.

The ship dropped into Montrose having been conducting missile firing tests off the west coast of Scotland and after four months of operational sea training under Plymouth-based Flag Officer Sea Training staff off the South West Coast of England.

The intensive and challenging training prepares the ship for future operational deployments to the Middle East.

Owing to her busy programme of trials and training, and distance from Scotland, HMS Montrose has been unable to visit its namesake port for several years.

The ship’s boarding team were sent ashore led by Lieutenant Chris Poulson to visit as many of the ship’s affiliations as possible, explaining what the ship has been up to.

Lieutenant Poulson said:

“It was very important for the ship that some of us visited our home town before the ship deploys later in the year.

“And as well as greatly enjoying our visit, we were always made very welcome by everyone we met. We are very much looking forward to coming back next year.”

Sailors called in on Angus Riding for the Disabled, who readily welcomed an extra 5 pairs of hands during a grooming and cleaning session for the horses, meeting the hard working staff and children who benefit.

The also visited a statue honouring the WW2 Norwegian Free Forces and visited the Montrose Air Museum, commemorating the first operational military airfield in the UK, and which contains countless artefacts, uniforms and aircraft from the Royal Naval Air Service and the Fleet Air Arm (as well as other military aviation organisations).

After the air, came the sea, and Lieutenant Poulson took the team to the brand new replacement lifeboat station.

They visited Dorward House Care Home to meet residents and staff, including a veteran of the Women’s Royal Naval Service who served in Liverpool in the Second World War.

Having met such a variety of senior citizens, the trip to Montrose concluded with a tour of two of the town’s schools – Montrose Academy and Rosemount Primary School.

The sailors talked to the students and ship’s Chef Woodley lent a hand in domestic science classes, while sailors were given a lesson in youthful fitness during an energetic session in the playground with the primary schoolchildren.

HMS Montrose is currently undergoing an intensive support period prior to a 7 month deployment overseas in Summer 2013.

Press Release, July 2, 2013; Image: Royal Navy