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Duchess Of Cornwall Meets Recovering Troops In Plymouth

 Duchess Of Cornwall Meets Recovering Troops In Plymouth

26/02/2013

The Duchess of Cornwall delighted recovering troops and their families during her first visit to the Royal Navy in Plymouth. As part of a series of visits to Devon today (Tuesday) The Duchess visited injured troops and chaplains from the South West at HM Naval Base, Devonport. Meanwhile, her husband The Prince of Wales visited HMS Bulwark, the Fleet Flagship at sea for training.

It was really good to meet The Duchess. She was very interested in my life and what my future will be.
Royal Marine Spencer Vaughan

The Duchess talked to members of the Royal Navy Medical Services and recovering injured Royal Marines and personnel from the other Armed Forces who are benefiting from the recovery pathway under the care of Hasler Company.

The Duchess of Cornwall has been Commodore-in-Chief of the Royal Naval Medical Services since 2006.

Major Steve Melbourne, officer-in-charge Hasler Company, said:

“It is a huge honour for all the guys and girls under Hasler and the staff to have a personal visit from The Duchess.

"It means a lot to them, this was a chance for the users of the Royal Naval Recovery Pathway to tell their stories to her.

"They all have individual stories of triumph over adversity and it was a chance to tell her what fantastic care they have had through Hasler Company.’’

Hasler Company helps to aid the recovery and re-integration of injured and ill service personnel who have complex needs and require focused and individual attention.

More than 152 men and women have joined since 2009. 62 members of the company have now been medically discharged - they are all in employment or education.

The company is supported by Service and other charities and the Plymouth community.

The Duchess met Marine Spencer Vaughan, 25, and his partner Jodie Jenkins, of Plymstock, Plymouth. Spencer suffered a broken neck during a non-combat incident and was partly paralysed. He said:

 Duchess Of Cornwall Meets Recovering Troops In Plymouth

“It was really good to meet The Duchess. She was very interested in my life and what my future will be.

"It does give you a lift to have people like her giving us the time.’’ 

Spencer plans to marry Jodie next year. He is on work placement and plans to study physical development at university. During his two years with Hasler Company the staff have supported his own physical therapy and education and training.

Warrant Officer Martin Edwards, 46, of Ugborough, Devon, told the Duchess that Hasler Company was giving him invaluable support in his new career as a fine art restorer. He was injured in a road accident after 26 years in the Marines.

The Duchess of Cornwall then attended a reception for operational Royal Navy chaplains in the officer’s mess.

She met chaplains from all Royal Naval units in the region, including Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose and HMS Raleigh in Cornwall and Commando Training Centre and Britannia Royal Naval College in Devon. Of the 64 Royal Naval chaplains nationwide, 18 attended.

The chaplains offer pastoral care and spiritual and moral leadership to the men and women of the Naval Service and their dependants. The Duchess has been Commodore-in-Chief of the Royal Naval Chaplaincy Service since 2008.

 Duchess Of Cornwall Meets Recovering Troops In Plymouth

The Reverend Scott Brown, Chaplain of the Fleet, said:

“The Duchess of Cornwall is the royal patron of the Royal Naval Chaplaincy Service.

"In her role as Commodore-in-Chief of the service she was given the chance today to meet a selection of chaplains serving in Afghanistan, at sea in ships and overseas elsewhere.

"She writes to them at Christmas and generally keeps in touch as a form of royal support.

"The chaplains see this as adding value to their work, it is good to have her support and encouragement.’’

The Prince of Wales, Admiral of the Fleet, and Commodore-in-Chief, Plymouth Royal Naval Command, visited HMS Bulwark at sea and met members of the ships company.

HMS Bulwark is the Royal Navy’s Flagship. Last autumn the ship led the Navy's key deployment to the Mediterranean, Cougar 2012, and returned to British shores at the end of November.

Summer 2012 saw the ship on security duty off Weymouth to help ensure that Olympic sailing events were safe for all.

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