Gale force winds and high seas could not deter the Ship’s Company of HMS Pembroke from remembering.
HMS Pembroke was forced to seek shelter in Campbeltown as the tail end of Super-storm Sandy hit the West Coast of Scotland. The weather may have been miserable but spirits were not as MCM1 Crew 8 participated in the ceremonial march, wreath laying and church service that followed shortly there after. Commanding Officer Lieutenant Commander Matt Moore Royal Navy said:
“Although not planned, the visit to Campbeltown presented an ideal opportunity to participate in such a well attended Remembrance Parade, which this year fell on Armistice Day.”
The ceremonial march started at the town’s harbour and moved along the coastal road to the Remembrance Monument where wreaths were laid, before the parade was marched to the Highland Parish Church for the Service. The Royal Navy were the only full time Service present however the turn out by the local community on the crisp November morning was inspiring. The British Legion, local army and sea cadets, emergency services and local veterans were some of the organisations that were. One elderly resident from the area, Irene from Kintyre Care Home said:
“It’s lovely to see the Royal Navy here for today, my husband was in the Navy for 25 years and seeing you all looking so smart reminds me of him.”
HMS Pembroke was due to conduct a remembrance march through the town of Oban during an Operational Stand-off whilst conducting Route Survey and Mine Clearance Operations off the coast of Scotland. However due to constraints imposed by the weather, the Ship was unable to continue her passage and sought shelter in the welcoming town of Campbeltown. Lt Cdr Moore went on to say:
“Campbeltown may be a small fishing town but for what it lacks in size, it makes up for in community spirit; it was quite remarkable and we’ve been made to feel very welcome. Today was about remembering those who made the ultimate sacrifice, so that we can live as we do today. On behalf of HMS Pembroke and Crew 8; we are all thankful.”
Pembroke is set to continue with her tasking off the West Coast of Scotland before a visit to Bangor, Northern Ireland later in the year.
Naval Today Staff, November 15, 2012; Image: RN