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HMS Shoreham says ‘adieu to Adur’ in emotional final hometown visit

HMS Shoreham paid an emotional final visit to the Sussex seaside town bearing her name.

Locals turned out in force to cheer the sailors through the town – and tour the minehunter – as she bade her goodbyes to various groups and associations who’ve been linked with the ship throughout her 20-year-career.

The 41 men and women who’ve carried the town’s name around the world on front-line operations since 2002 exercised their Freedom of the District with a march and parade through the heart of Shoreham-by-Sea for the fourth and last time since being honoured in 2011.

Then they returned the Scroll which granted them the district’s highest honour to Adur Council for safekeeping.

“It has been a real privilege to bring HMS Shoreham back to her home town where she was first commissioned – and to hand-back the Freedom of the District awarded,” said the final Commanding Officer Lieutenant Commander Andrew Platt… who began his RN career aboard the ship.

“Over her 20 years of service – with nearly half of these spent deployed in the Gulf, HMS Shoreham’s strong maritime links with our hometown have been of great support to a generation of sailors – and it is right that we express our thanks to Shoreham-by-Sea during this visit.

“It is a little bit sad, but it’s been an amazing journey.”

Councillor Stephen, chairman of Adur Council, said the visit – and especially the farewell parade – had been “an emotional, but stirring occasion”.

He continued: “There has been a fantastic relationship between residents of the district and HMS Shoreham and we have watched her serve with distinction around the world helping to keep it a safer place.”

The Shoreham story in the Royal Navy goes back to January 1694 with five ships named after the town. Before the present-day vessel, Shoreham No.4 was a sloop which served extensively in the Gulf, Mediterranean and Indian Ocean before and during World War 2.

It has been a real privilege to bring HMS Shoreham back to her home town where she was first commissioned – and to hand-back the Freedom of the District awarded.

Officer Lieutenant Commander Andrew Platt

The current HMS Shoreham, No.5, was commissioned in Shoreham-by-Sea on July 20 2002, since when she has maintained close ties with the town despite conducting prolonged operations either in home waters, as part of NATO task groups in European waters, or in the Gulf.

Shoreham spent several years at a time deployed to the Middle East, swapping her entire crew every few months to sustain her on operations alongside other Royal Navy minehunters based in the region.

The ship has clocked up more than 120,000 nautical miles – enough to take her around the world five and a half times – and visited more than 30 ports at home and abroad while serving under the White Ensign.

All 1,500 (free) tickets allowing the public to tour the ship, berthed in nearby Shoreham Port, for the last time were snapped up.

Crew also hosted naval associations, cadet groups and other affiliates on board, and they also paid their respects at the town’s war memorial.

The ship is now heading for Rosyth in Scotland to prepare for her decommissioning.


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