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HMS Iron Duke is star of National Armed Forces Day

HMS Iron Duke is star of National Armed Forces Day
26 June 2017
HMS Iron Duke played an integral part of National Armed Forces Day as the centrepiece of the Armed Forces Village in Liverpool, the lead city for the event this year.

Coming straight from exercising with NATO in the Baltic the previous week, she demonstrated once again the flexibility and ability to rapidly adapt to a high profile public engagement opportunity.  

The event is a celebration of the commitment to the country that the personnel across the three Armed Forces make as part of their military service and this year, the Royal Navy took the lead in organising the celebrations in Liverpool.

Iron Duke was berthed front and centre at the Cruise Liner terminal near the Liver Building.

On Friday evening the ship hosted a reception for Liverpool City Council to say thank you to those involved in organising the weekend. The Earl of Wessex was in attendance as the VVIP and during the event the Royal Navy presentation team delivered a Joint capability brief highlighting the crucial roles played by the Armed Forces.

Many of the chip’s company helped host the event ensuring an enjoyable evening for all on board culminating in a Ceremonial Sunset with the Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines Beating the Retreat on the Jetty and the ship’s guard conducting the ceremony on board.

Every ship that visits Liverpool is treated exceptionally well by its people and we look forward to visiting again in the future

Commander Steve Banfield MBE, Commanding Officer of HMS Iron Duke

On Saturday, Iron Duke was the backdrop to the parade and to a press briefing by the Secretary of State for Defence before opening her gangway to members of the public.  

The ship’s company proudly showed the public around the upper deck of the ship, explaining what life is like onboard for the Senior Service and allowing them to look around the ship. The ship also sent a team to the Dragon Boat Racing event held nearby and won against the RAF, Army and a local civilian team!  

Iron Duke played another key role by conducting Ceremonial Sunset once more in order to close the AFD celebrations.

Sunday saw the ship open once more to the public and by the end of the weekend over 5,500 visitors had the chance to come on board find out more about the Ship and the Naval Service as a whole.

The Commanding Officer spoke to Forces TV and members of the public throughout the ship’s time in Liverpool, “It is a huge honour and a privilege to represent the Royal Navy in the lead city for Armed Forces Day this year.  

“My Ship’s Company are proud of HMS Iron Duke and have really enjoyed showing her to all the visitors this weekend - I’d like to thank the City of Liverpool for being such incredibly warm hosts.  

“Every ship that visits Liverpool is treated exceptionally well by its people and we look forward to visiting again in the future.”

Iron Duke is named after the first Duke of Wellington and is affiliated with the 1st Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment.

The ship shares the regiment’s motto, “Virtutis Fortuna Comes” meaning, “Fortune is the Companion of Valour” which is inherited from the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment.  

Iron Duke was also the name of Admiral Jellico’s Flagship at the battle of Jutland in 1916, a heritage the present ship is very proud of.

The Ship is also affiliated to the Island of Jersey and regularly makes visits to the island.

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