HMS Ledbury helps namesake town commemorate heroes of Jutland and the Somme

The crew of minehunter HMS Ledbury lead tributes to the fallen of the Battles of Jutland and the Somme when they marched through their namesake town in Herefordshire on Saturday 25 June.

Sailors from the Portsmouth-based warship were invited to fly the flag for today’s military at the county’s principal commemoration of events in 1916 – combined with Armed Forces Day events.

County leaders in Herefordshire have determined one major event per year should be staged through the centenary of the Great War – and that those events should extend beyond Hereford itself.

Ledbury, a dozen miles east of the county town, was selected for the combined Jutland-Somme day of remembrance with a mixture of living history displays and re-enactments, displays of contemporary artwork and writing, performances of period music, and film shows to keep the public entertained.

An opportunity such as this – to march in the town of our ship’s name – is one we all relish. I am sure that the day will pass as a fitting tribute to all

Lieutenant Commander Tom Trent, Commanding Officer HMS Ledbury

Events reached their climax with the WW1 Centenary Commemoration Parade with sailors from Ledbury taking their place alongside cadets and veterans from the Royal British Legion behind the Band of West Midlands Fire Service.

If you’ve not read or heard much about the ship, that’s because she’s been in a lengthy refit in her native Portsmouth, which has included ripping out her trusty Deltic diesel engines and replacing them with modern, more efficient Caterpillar ones among other upgrades.

The chance to renew ties with her twin town and shine a light on the work of the modern RN was a welcome change from readying the Hunt-class vessel for sea.

“The focus for my ship’s company has been so much ‘eyes in the boat’ as we recover from a lengthy period of refit,” said Ledbury’s Commanding Officer Lieutenant Commander Tom Trent.

“An opportunity such as this – to march in the town of our ship’s name – is one we all relish. I am sure that the day will pass as a fitting tribute to all.”

You can find out more about events on June 25 at @ledbury2016