HMS Somerset visits the Isles of Scilly
A WARSHIP has visited the Isles of Scilly to underline the close relationship between the community and the Royal Navy.
Whilst anchored off St Mary's HMS Somerset welcomed more than 500 islanders and tourists onboard for a tour and demonstrations of some of the equipment.
The crew also supported the islands' commemoration service marking the 70th anniversary of the Battle of the Atlantic.
The visit began with a reception on board and capability demonstration during which ninety invited guests were treated to naval hospitality whilst being shown what HMS Somerset can achieve as a versatile warship.
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Sea boat and boarding team displays were followed by a tour above and below decks and the evening ended with a traditional naval sunset ceremony.
In honour of the ship's visit a Royal Naval White Ensign was flown over Star Castle on St Mary's Island before a formal commemoration service to mark the anniversary of the Battle of the Atlantic.
The Devonport-based crew, including a 12-man guard of honour, joined 600 members of the public at the ceremony in honour of all those that perished and took part in the battle. Commodore James Miller, Naval Regional Commander, paid tribute to the contribution made by Scilly islanders during this long and hard-fought campaign.
He also personally thanked two surviving Battle of the Atlantic veterans who were in attendance.
Guard commander, Lieutenant Gary Turner, said: "We were honoured to be able to play our part in supporting the islands' commemoration service to mark the Battle of the Atlantic 70th anniversary and the contribution made by Scilly Islanders.
"A Royal Navy guard of honour, Royal Marine buglers and a ceremonial sunset overlooking the Atlantic Ocean was a fitting tribute to the longest military campaign of World War Two."
On Sunday HMS Somerset's commanding officer, Commander Mike Smith repaid the islanders' hospitality by hosting a lunch onboard.
He said: "It has been a pleasure welcoming islanders onboard HMS Somerset and helping them understand a little more about the role the modern Royal Navy has in protecting our nation's interests both at home and further afield around the globe.
"As the West Country's favourite warship, it is fantastic to be able to visit the most westerly part of England and be made to feel so welcome."