A Plymouth ship has paid her respects to those who sacrificed their lives in past conflicts during a visit to Antigua.
HMS Argyll has recently paid visits to both Antigua and Montserrat and during her stopover in Antigua a small service was held at the graves of soldiers who died during the Second World War; while at the First World War Memorial in St Johns, a wreath was laid.
Argyll’s Executive Officer Lt Cdr Chris Ansell, said: “It is humbling to visit these graves from the Second Wold War and to recognise the soldiers, sailors and airmen from Antigua who sacrificed their lives during the First World War.
“It is particularly poignant to see that the Great War affected people across the world as we remember the start of that conflict a hundred years ago.”
Following her visit to Antigua, the frigate then travelled a short distance to the island of Montserrat where she took part in a three day community engagement and disaster relief planning visit.
Projects that the ship’s company took part in included; renovating houses, medical team training at the local hospital and the carrying out of a beach survey.
Engineering Technician (Marine Engineering) James Carmalt, who took part in a project to renovate a house, said: “It was a great day, it’s always good to do some work off the ship and this was something we really felt good about. The locals were extremely pleased with what we did and we were just glad to help.”
During her time to Montserrat HMS Argyll also focussed on ensuring the disaster relief capabilities of the island and the ship were fully understood with several teams visiting the areas of the island that would be important in a disaster relief scenario, including the Montserrat Volcano Observatory.
This work culminated in a command team disaster relief exercise that practised HMS Argyll’s interaction with the Montserratians in case of an emergency.
HMS Argyll’s Commanding Officer, Commander Paul Hammond, said: “It was a great honour to visit Montserrat and continue the long relationship between the island and the Royal Navy. I was delighted we had the opportunity to provide assistance ashore and better understand how we can assist the islanders in the event of a hurricane or volcanic activity.”
HMS Argyll has deployed to the Caribbean region to provide reassurance and, if required, humanitarian aid and disaster relief support to the UK’s British Overseas Territories and other islands during the hurricane season.
HMS Argyll will also conduct counter narcotics patrols in conjunction with the US Coast Guard to enhance regional security and deter illicit activity.
Press Release, July 31, 2014; Image: Royal Navy