We are extremely lucky to have such close links and a friendly partnership with the town and county as the naval links are strong in Monmouth.

Cdr Gordon Ruddock RN

The frigate’s Commanding Officer Cdr Gordon Ruddock thanked the good folk of Monmouth for the warm welcome and joked that he was sorry he could not have got the ship up the river all the way to the bridge. He said: “It is particularly special for us to be made so welcome in a town that is not physically connected to the sea.

“We are extremely lucky to have such close links and a friendly partnership with the town and county as the naval links are strong in Monmouth.”

Senior member of the ship’s crew, WO2 Mat Napper presented the ceremonial scroll marking Monmouth’s right to march through the town, which they did – including through the gate tower on the Monnow Bridge which features so prominently on the frigate’s badge.

“I’ve served on board Monmouth for over four years over the course of my naval career and, being Welsh, it is a great honour to take part in this historic ceremony,” said Mat.

“Having been away from the UK for most of the year we’ve all really been looking forward to being able to visit Monmouth.”

The ship is spending the rest of the year around the UK conducting patrols and training.


Photos: PO(Phot) Si  Ethell and LA(Phot) Keith Morgan