Newly refurbished HMS President unveiled by HRH the Duke of York

His Royal Highness Prince Andrew, The Duke of York, was recently at the heart of HMS President’s re-dedication ceremony.

The London Royal Naval Reserve unit, home to more than 230 reservists from all walks of life, has recently benefitted from a major refurbishment. This is part of the Government’s policy to grow and sustain the country’s reserve forces.

The work will bolster efforts to attract the highest calibre of recruits who will ultimately serve alongside their regular counterparts in the Royal Navy.

This was the first of a number of re-dedication ceremonies at Royal Naval Reserve units around the country. 

I look forward to taking HMS President into an exciting future.

Commander John Herriman RNR

On the evening, HMS President received the great honour of being awarded a unit commendation in recognition of the ship’s company’s support to the Royal Navy over the last three years and its overall hard work and commitment.

This rare commendation was awarded by Rear Admiral Chris Hockley CBE, Flag Officer Scotland, Northern England, Wales and Northern Ireland and Flag Officer Reserves and Regional Forces.

Other significant highlights of the evening included a Royal Marines band beating retreat, a Royal Naval Reserve guard of honour inspected by The Duke of York and the formal lowering of the white ensign during the ceremonial sunset.

The evening unfolded in front of an audience that included senior military officers, local dignitaries, employers, friends and families.

The other major purpose of the evening was the formal handover of command from Commander Eugene Morgan RD RNR to Commander John Herriman RNR.

Highlights from the three years of Commander Morgan’s tenure included continued support to the Royal Navy through mobilised reservists supporting its operations globally and increased focus on reserve recruitment.

Commander Morgan also hosted Her Majesty The Queen during her Diamond Jubilee celebrations and played a major role during the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games when the unit was used as a security base.

Speaking on the night, Commander Morgan said: “Few words can readily express my pride in every member of HMS President's ship’s company.

"Your hard work, selfless commitment and unfailing good humour have been the hallmark of your success and will ever continue to be so.

"Receiving a unit commendation is further testament to HMS President’s standing within the Royal Naval Reserve and the wider Fleet.

“Having spent nearly half my life at President, last night was the absolute pinnacle of passion and commitment. Each and every corner of the unit sparkled and I wish to thank everyone for your hard work and dedication in making it such a success.

“I wish each and every member of HMS President the very best for the coming years and particularly so your new Commanding Officer, Commander John Herriman, and his leadership team.”

Upon completion of the handover, the ship’s company cheered Commander Morgan as he departed from HMS President’s jetty in the London University Royal Naval Unit patrol boat HMS Puncher.

In what has become an established tradition for outgoing commanding officers of HMS President, Commander Morgan was given the honour of having London’s iconic Tower Bridge open as he passed beneath.

HMS President’s new commanding officer was previously head of the Royal Naval Reserve Diving branch. In his new role Commander Herriman will ensure the London unit plays a leading role in ensuring that the Royal Naval Reserve achieves the growth targets set out in the Government’s Future Reserve 2020 policy.

Speaking of his role, Commander Herriman said: “I am extremely proud to have been appointed as your Commanding Officer.

"Having been involved in the unit since 2009 I know what a great establishment HMS President is, as well as the important role that it plays both in London and the wider Maritime Reserves.

"The unit Re-Dedication Ceremony was the perfect occasion during which to assume my command formally. Well done to everyone for showing HMS President at its best.

"I look forward to taking HMS President into an exciting future.”