HMS Ledbury has returned to her home base of Portsmouth after a busy two weeks away on ceremonial and training duties.
Having only taken over the ship the week before, MCM2 Crew 4 worked tirelessly to make her ready for sea in time for high profile events in France commemorating the 70th anniversary of D-Day.
After a rapid handover, Ledbury underwent several days of assessments by the Royal Navy’s training organisation, FOST, before sailing through the night to Ouistreham and Caen, mirroring the transit of her predecessors 70 years earlier.
Transiting up the Caen Canal, HMS Ledbury passed under the famous Pegasus Bridge, site of both the first British casualty of D-Day and the first building to be liberated in occupied France.
Whilst in Caen, the ship’s company took part in a number of ceremonial engagements, including at Bayeux Cathedral and the British and Commonwealth Cemetery, where Her Majesty the Queen was in attendance with other senior dignitaries.
After a hugely successful visit to Normandy, the hard work continued when Ledbury sailed from Caen straight to Dartmouth, the home of Royal Navy officer training.
Berthing alongside Britannia Royal Naval College’s Sandquay river facility, she carried out two days of mine warfare acquaint training for the College’s officer cadets.
Whilst alongside, the ship’s company also had the chance to explore the town of Dartmouth and to witness the impressive architecture of Sir Aston Webb’s 1905 college building.
Ledbury’s Commanding Officer, Lt Cdr Mark Headley said, “I have been incredibly proud of the achievements of my sailors over the last few weeks.
“It has been a busy and challenging period of maintenance, work up of Mine hunting techniques and Flag Officer Sea Training, culminating in a very high profile period of ceremonial duties.
“The way in which Crew 4 has risen to the challenge has demonstrated their professionalism, flexibility, resilience and good humour.”
Press Release, June 19, 2014; Image: UK Navy