On the evening of Monday 13th March Liverymen Lochhead, Gammell, Pickering, Riley & Urquhart joined local dignitaries and guests, including the Duke of Montrose, The Lord Lieutenant of Angus and the Provost of Montrose, to a reception and Capability Demonstration on board HMS Montrose during its final visit to the port of Montrose in the east coast of Scotland after 30 years service.
HMS Montrose had arrived in port the previous Friday and on Sunday 5,000 locals visited the ship to wish it and the ships Company well prior to it being decommissioned in April. Football and golf matches were also arranged with local affiliated groups over the weekend.
On Monday evening we heard from Cdr Claire Thompson, Commanding Officer (STBD Crew) of HMS Montrose who told us their work in the Gulf of Oman over the last four years as part of Operation KIPION, the UK’s commitment to promoting peace in stability in the region as well as ensuring the safe flow of oil and trade. Montrose had a number of successful interceptions of illegal shipments of illicit drugs preventing them being sold on the U.K. streets and intercepting smuggled arms.
HMS Montrose was originally designed to operate in the North Atlantic so operating in the Gulf of Oman in high temperatures and humidity added challenges to its operations, further complicated by Covid. Despite these, the Crew continued to operate, sometimes at reduced levels because of crew members having to isolate, and achieved their goal of protecting the seas.
After the address from Cdr Thompson and Brigadier Andy Muddiman RM, Naval Regional Commander for Scotland, we were given a tour of the ship by Montrose’s Engineer Officer Lt Cdr “Cosy” Powell who gave us a further understanding of how the ships crew operated in conditions of high temperatures and humidity in compact and confined spaces and we visited the bridge and the engineering hub amongst other spaces. It was very evident that all ranks pulled together as one to achieve successful deployments.
The event closed with a sunset ceremony with the lowering of the Ensign at the end of the day. It was a poignant ceremony as the next day HMS Montrose would leave the port of Montrose for the final time.
BZ HMS Montrose (both STBD and PORT crews) for your diligent and successful service during Operation KIPION to keep the U.K. protected and on previous deployments. Fair winds and a safe passage to you all on your final passage from Montrose to Portsmouth.
Michael Urquhart CBE
Chairman of the Scottish Committee