Plymouth-based frigate, HMS Monmouth, has welcomed her first Commanding Officer onboard to celebrate the Ship’s 20th anniversary. Commander Graham Ramsay RN (retired) commanded the Type 23 frigate when she first joined the Senior Service.
Commissioned in 1993, HMS Monmouth has more battle-honours than any other serving warship.
Unlike other “Duke” class frigates, Monmouth carries a black crest and will often fly a black flag in recognition of the First Duke of Monmouth’s traitor status.
Given the Ship’s illustrious forbears, Commander Ramsay dug into the history of the Duke who shares the name and began the “Black Duke” tradition which still continues on board.
Commander Ramsay commanded Monmouth from January 1993 to July 1994, and was reunited with his old ship whilst she took a brief replenishment stop in his now-native Abu Dhabi.
Accompanied by other former RN officers and their families who are based in the region, the visitors were able to see first hand how the Black Duke has changed over her 20 years of service.
Commander Ramsay said:
“I was delighted to see her again still hard at work. For 350 years HMS Monmouth has been one of the most illustrious names in the annals of British naval history.
“At the original commissioning ceremony in 1993 it sent a tingle down all our spines to realise that, having fought their ship to the end at the Battle of Coronel in 1914, the last Captain and entire ship’s company of the previous Monmouth were still with their ship at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean.
“It is wonderful to come back 20 years later and find that the same spirit of determination and light hearted professionalism is still alive and well.”
HMS Monmouth is currently on patrol in the Gulf fulfilling the Royal Navy’s long-standing Maritime Security commitment to the region.
Naval Today Staff, April 3, 2013; Image: Royal Navy