HMS Montrose, a Royal UK Navy Type 23 Duke-class frigate, arrived in London in the early hours of Thursday morning, and is now alongside in West India Dock conducting a number of engagements and capability demonstrations with the ship’s affiliates and London-based youth groups, schools and members of the local Tower Hamlets community.
HMS Montrose has recently been deployed in the Eastern Mediterranean on a mission to support the disposal of Syrian chemical weapons, working alongside warships from Denmark and Norway to escorting the merchant vessels tasked with transporting chemical weapon materials for destruction.
Montrose returned to her base port of Devonport, in Plymouth, in late March, for an essential period of planned maintenance and post-deployment leave for the ship’s company. The ship has called into London en route to the Baltic, where she will exercise with foreign navies before she calls into her namesake port of Montrose (on the east coast of Scotland) later in the summer.
The visit to London is the first time up the Thames in exactly 20 years of Royal Naval Service and presents an ideal opportunity for the ship to engage with her principal London-base affiliate, the Worshipful Company of Distillers, who have organised a fundraising event on board in support of Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity (RNRMC), a charity which raises funds to support those who serve, or have served, in the Naval Service.
During her time in London, HMS Montrose will also celebrate the 20th anniversary of her commissioning into the Fleet and to mark this landmark occasion ten former and serving Commanding Officers of the frigate will join the ship’s sponsor, Lady Rifkin, for a commemorative luncheon.
The Commanding Officer of HMS Montrose, Commander James Parkin, said: “It is a tremendous opportunity to take any warship up the Thames into the nation’s capital, and my hard-working men and women are greatly looking forward to experiencing all that London has to offer, before a period of intensive operational tasking in the Baltic.”
Sub Lieutenant Alex Printer, the Junior Weapon Engineering Officer, added: “As a life-long West Ham supporter, I never thought I’d be serving in a ship that berthed so close to our home ground – I’m really looking forward to our time here.”
The ship will not be open to the general public on this occasion but may be viewed alongside in West India Dock until 3 June.
Press Release, June 02, 2014