HMS Monmouth

HMS Monmouth, known as the 'Black Duke' is the frigate with more battle honours than any other serving warship.

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March 2016 saw the 350th anniversary of the use of the name “Monmouth” in the Royal Navy.  An 8-gun yacht, the first Monmouth was commissioned on 5th March 1666 under the command of Captain Nicholas Hill. 

Although relatively little is known of the yachts later service in the navy it is recorded that in 1683 under Captain Grenville Collins, she was engaged in his great survey of the British coastline which resulted in the publication of his magnificent atlas, Great Britain’s Coasting Pilot.

On 17th April 1690, she was under the command of Captain William Wright and part of a squadron under the command of Cloudesley Shovel in a skirmish with the French in Dublin Bay, during which the yacht and more particularly her commander was ‘very serviceable .. [and] behaved himself very well in the action.’  The yacht was sold out of the Navy in 1698.

The modern-day and recently-upgraded Type 23 frigate took a break from training with 825 Naval Air Squadron (Wildcat) to capture the occasion with sailors lining the flight deck.

HMS Monmouth is unique in the Royal Navy as in reference to the heritage of the name “The Black Duke” the frigate flies a black flag and has black, rather than the traditional red, name plates.

After visiting Cardiff and exercising her freedom of the town of Monmouth just before Easter she has now returned to base-port in Devonport where she will conduct BOST in the Summer.

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Current operation Training exercises

The unit is being put through its paces in preparation for returning to front line operations.

Location Plymouth

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Unit History

The First Monmouth1666

There are seven ships of the Fleet named Monmouth which have served the country, beginning with a 17th-Century eight-gun yacht launched in 1666.

The Second 'Fearsome' Monmouth1667

The second bearer of the name served for 100 years, was rebuilt three times and earned no fewer than ten battle honours.

The Third Monmouth1772

The third Monmouth saw extensive action against the French in the 1780s before being turned into the appropriately-named prison ship Captivity in 1796. She was broken up in 1818.

The Fourth Monmouth1796

Monmouth No.4 was built for the East India Company but was acquired by the Royal Navy during the French Revolutionary War, seeing action at Camperdown and in the Mediterranean.

The Fifth Monmouth1868

The fifth ship began life as HMS Hotspur, renamed as Monmouth in 1868 and serving as the Roman Catholic chapel in Devonport for more than 30 years. She was sold in 1902.

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Commanding Officer Philip Tilden

Rank: Commander

Philip Tilden joined the Royal Navy as a Warfare Officer in 1992. He took up his current post of Commanding Officer HMS Monmouth at the end of 2014.

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Engineering Technician (Marine Engineering)

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The ‘Black Duke’, has more battle honours than any other serving warship

HMNB Devonport

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Displacement: 4,900 tonnes; length: 133m; beam: 16.1m; complement: 185