HMS Montrose to visit Angus to the last time as long affiliation comes to an end

The town of Montrose will bid a final farewell to its affiliated warship this week when HMS Montrose pays a visit to the port for the last time.

Wednesday, 8th March 2023, 3:29pm
HMS Montrose to visit Angus to the last time as long affiliation comes to an end

The type 23 frigate, which returned to the UK in December following a four-year deployment in the Middle East, is to be decommissioned later this year.

The ship and crew will be in Montrose from March 11-14 to say thank you to her affiliate organisations, with whom strong relationships have been built since she was commissioned into service in 1994.

Over the course of the weekend, the crew will welcome members of the public who will be able to take tours of the ship.

Links have also been formed with organisations across the county, such as the local branch of the Riding for the Disabled Association, with the ship’s crew being granted the Freedom of Angus in 2002.

The ship’s company has since exercised its right to march through the county, in November 2008, when Angus Provost Ruth Melville took the salute during a Remembrance Sunday parade and uly 2014, where they exercised the Freedom of Angus in front of Provost Helen Oswald.

Commanding Officer Commander Claire Thompson OBE said: “It is hugely important for us to visit the town of Montrose before we decommission.

“It has been a while since the ship has had the opportunity to visit following a long time away in the Middle East. Regardless, our bonds to the town, and our other affiliates in the area, have remained strong.”

Commander Thompson continued: “We’re here to say goodbye and to say thank you. Your lifelong support to HMS Montrose has been hugely appreciated and we look forward to welcoming you all onboard.”

The ship will arrive at the Port of Montrose on Saturday (March 11) and will be opened to ticketed visitors between 10am to 3.30pm the following day.

During the stop-over, the ship’s company will also host the Lord-Lieutenant Pat Sawers and and Angus Provost Brian Boyd, as well as members of local Sea Cadet units.

Members of the crew will also play against local football and golf teams.

Based at HM Naval Base Devonport, HMS Montrose left the UK in October 2018 and crossed the Atlantic and Pacific before arriving at her forward deployed operating area in the Middle East. The ship had huge success, making record-breaking drug busts and unprecedented seizures of Advanced Conventional Weapons, preventing them being smuggled to terrorist organisations.

Since her launch, she has covered 423,377 miles and, as a Duke Class Frigate, is named after the Duke of Montrose, and is the second vessel to carry the name. The first was commissioned as a command ship for a First World War flotilla, but the war ended before she could join the fleet.

She served throughout the 1920s but was kept in reserve until the outbreak of the Second World War when she was reactivated to hunt U-boats in the Atlantic and was deployed to Dunkirk, bringing home 900 men before bomb damaged prevented more trips across the channel. She was finally scrapped in 1946.

Free tickets for the tours can be booked at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/556551980957.

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