UKHMS Liverpool leaves home for final time

Crowds gath­ered on the Wirral and in the heart of Liv­er­pool yes­ter­day to bid a fond and final farewell to Type 42 destroy­er HMS Liv­er­pool.

HMS Liv­er­pool test fir­ing a Sea Dart mis­sile in Scot­tish waters (stock image) [Pic­ture: LA(Phot) Ben Sut­ton, Crown Copyright/MOD 2011]
Source: Min­istry of Defence, UK
Click to enlarge

HMS Liv­er­pool sailed into the Mersey last week for a six-day vis­it, berthing along­side at the Cruise Lin­er Ter­mi­nal. After 30 years in ser­vice she is now due to be decom­mis­sioned and this was the ship’s last vis­it to Liv­er­pool, close to where she was built. 

Dur­ing the ship’s vis­it to Liv­er­pool her crew host­ed a recep­tion for var­i­ous guests as well as invit­ing some 20 groups, includ­ing schools, col­leges and oth­er organ­i­sa­tions, on board. 

On Fri­day the crew took to the streets of Liv­er­pool to exer­cise their Free­dom of the City for the last time. The parade was attend­ed by the Lord-Lieu­tenant of Mersey­side, Dame Lor­na Muir­head, and the Roy­al Navy’s Deputy Com­man­der-in-Chief Fleet, Vice Admi­ral Philip Jones. 

HMS Liv­er­pool was award­ed this hon­our in 1982 and has exer­cised this ancient tra­di­tion on numer­ous occa­sions dur­ing her close affil­i­a­tion with the city. 

And on Sat­ur­day and Sun­day the ship opened her gang­way to the pub­lic, giv­ing thou­sands of vis­i­tors the chance to explore the ship, get up close and per­son­al with some of her equip­ment, and speak to the brave men and women who have sailed her and fought from her decks. 

Most recent­ly, off Libya, HMS Liv­er­pool became the first Roy­al Navy ship to be fired upon for 30 years dur­ing her sev­en-month deploy­ment to the area. 

HMS Liv­er­pool made her last jour­ney down the Mersey yes­ter­day morn­ing, leav­ing the Cruise Lin­er Ter­mi­nal at 1100hrs and deliv­er­ing a gun salute at the Cam­mell Laird ship­yard short­ly after­wards. She then sailed past the Roy­al Liv­er Build­ing and deliv­ered a sec­ond gun salute to the city with which she has been so proud­ly inter­twined over the past 30 years. 

Of the ship’s final vis­it to Mersey­side, HMS Liverpool’s Com­mand­ing Offi­cer, Com­man­der Col­in Williams, said: 

“This has been an uplift­ing and, at times, emo­tion­al vis­it to the ship’s spir­i­tu­al home. We have been thor­ough­ly over­whelmed by the kind­ness and inter­est of Merseysiders and hum­bled by the sup­port shown to crew and ship alike. 

“We could not have wished for a bet­ter farewell cel­e­bra­tion for HMS Liverpool’s ser­vice with­in the fleet. 

“She has an excep­tion­al Mersey­side pedi­gree and this vis­it is one which will live long in my mem­o­ry and that of my crew. We are extreme­ly proud to have called Liv­er­pool our home.” 

HMS Liv­er­pool was laid down at Cam­mell Laird’s in 1978 and launched from the famous Birken­head ship­yard in 1980. 

She entered ser­vice in 1982, a mere two weeks after the Falk­lands Con­flict came to an end, and she has sailed the world for the Roy­al Navy in peace­time and con­flict ever since. 

Press release
Min­istry of Defence, UK 

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