The ship’s company of Royal Navy warship HMS Monmouth will exercise the Freedom of her affiliated town of Monmouth on Sunday (Sep 29) as part of her 20th anniversary celebrations.
The Type 23 frigate will berth alongside in Cardiff this Friday (Sep 27) and remain in the Welsh capital until Wednesday, October 2.
HMS Monmouth was given the Freedom of Monmouth – her affiliate town – in January 2004, and on Sunday, 150 of the ship’s company will be exercising this by marching through Monmouth with ‘drums beating, flags flying and bayonets fixed’.
The band of the Royal Marines will accompany the march, which will step off from the Castle Parade Ground at 1pm. The Mayor and Lord-Lieutenant of Gwent will inspect the crew outside the Shire Hall in Agincourt Square, and a short address will be given before the official request to exercise the Freedom of the Town of Monmouth is made.
A senior member of the ship’s crew, Warrant Officer 2 Mat Napper from Mold in North Wales, will then present the Mayor with the Ceremonial Scroll marking HMS Monmouth’s right to march through the town.
“I have served onboard HMS Monmouth for over four years over the course of my naval career and, being Welsh, it is a great honour to take part in this historic ceremony,” said Mat.
“Having been away from the UK for most of the year we are all really looking forward to being able to visit Monmouth.”
Berthing alongside Britannia Quay in Cardiff from the afternoon of Friday, the ship will be open to the general public for tours from 1pm to 4pm on Saturday, September 28.
HMS Monmouth has recently returned from a seven-month deployment to the Gulf region as part of the Royal Navy’s standing commitment to Maritime security in the Middle East which it has maintained for over 30 years.
The Plymouth-based warship celebrated her 20th year of service on May 20th this year. Following a summer of dockyard assisted maintenance and much deserved leave, the ship is spending the remainder of 2013 conducting Maritime Security patrols and training serials around the UK.
Press Release, September 26, 2013; Image: Royal Navy