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HMS Montrose re-joins the Royal Navy fleet

HMS Montrose re-joins the Royal Navy fleet
24 November 2017
The Type 23 frigate HMS Montrose has been officially welcomed back into front-line service at a rededication service held at HM Naval Base Devonport.

The parade of the entire ship’s company and a 12-man Guard of junior ratings was witnessed by the ship’s Guest of Honour and His Grace the 8th Duke of Montrose.

The Royal Marine Band of Plymouth entertained the watching families and affiliates as the ship was re-dedicated back in the Fleet. 

One proud father watching on was Ray Brock. As a former Lieutenant Commander in the Navy, he served on board HMS Montrose for 14 months in 1999 as the Captain’s Secretary. Today his son was playing the French horn in the Royal Marine Band.

The Reviewing Officer, Rear Admiral Chris Gardner, Assistant Chief of the Naval Staff (Ships) addressed the ship's company. 

He said, “It is a great honour and privilege to be here today representing the First Sea Lord to welcome Montrose back into the Fleet. Your tremendous hard work has brought this ship into fine shape.  I wish you all safe passage as you move through to your next stage of training and work up into the Fleet”.

Joining the ship last December has been an amazing experience for me. Wearing my number one uniform at this event has made me feel very proud to serve

Engineering Technician Harry Austin, HMS Montrose's youngest sailor

The ship and her crew were given a blessing by The Venerable Ian Wheatley, Chaplain of the Fleet. 

The rededication event marks the end of an extensive period of work in Devonport Naval Base.  During the work package the ship received major upgrades and updates to the latest missile system, the Sea Ceptor surface to air missile, and to the ship’s command system and marine engineering plant.

The Commanding Officer, Commander Conor O’Neil, said, “After many months of hard work from both the ship’s company and our industrial partners, we are all very proud to show off HMS Montrose at her rededication to our chain of command, affiliates and families.”

After the formal ceremony a rededication cake was cut ,as tradition dictates, by the youngest sailor on board, Engineering Technician Harry Austin from Bristol. 

Harry, who is seven years younger than the ship, said, “Joining the ship last December has been an amazing experience for me. Wearing my number one uniform at this event has made me feel very proud to serve. I joined the Royal Navy to travel and it looks like I’m certainly going to be doing that in the next few years.”

The ship is now preparing for operational sea training under the staff of Flag officer Sea Training Organisation, when the crew and their equipment will be tested to the limits before sailing on operations later in 2018.

The first HMS Montrose was commissioned on the 14th December 1919.  Named after the 6th Duke of Montrose, who founded the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve in 1903, she spent her first 10 years as part of the Mediterranean Fleet. 

In 1940 she assisted in the evacuation of Dunkirk, saving 925 soldiers, earning her second battle honour.

The current HMS Montrose is a Type 23 ‘Duke’ Class frigate. Commissioned into the Navy in 1994 she has sailed on operations around the globe during her 23 years of service.

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