Lieutenant Commander Stuart Yates, the Commanding Officer of HMS Quorn will proudly sail his Royal Navy minehunter into the Ship’s affiliated town of Ipswich on Thursday November 27 for a five-day visit.
HMS Quorn will also be open to the general public during the visit on Saturday November 29 on a ticketed basis only. The ship will open its doors to visitors between 9:30am and 4pm with last entry at 3pm. Details of how to obtain tickets can be found by clicking on the following link:
The highlight of the visit comes on Sunday November 30 when the Ship’s Company will exercise their Freedom of Entry to the Borough by marching through the town centre, led by the pomp and splendour of the Band of her Majesty’s Royal Marines. Timings for the Freedom March will be published on Monday November 24 once the route has been approved.
In February 2011, just three months before deploying to the Gulf, HMS Quorn and her Ship’s company were awarded the Freedom of Entry to the Borough of Ipswich. This granted the Ship’s Company the right to march through the Borough on ceremonial occasions.
Shortly after receiving the Freedom of Entry Award, HMS Quorn deployed to Bahrain as part of the Royal Navy footprint in the area. Over the 3 year period, HMS Quorn conducted Maritime Security Operations in the Gulf to reassure regional nations of the UK’s commitment to security through coordination and conduct of operations and exercises with coalition forces and Gulf Cooperation Council nations.
HMS Quorn’s Ship’s company were then able to enjoy the rare privilege of sailing the ship back to the UK in September 2014 after Quorn was replaced in theatre by HMS Chiddingfold, a rotation of units that takes place once every three years.
The current Ship’s Company joined the ship in January 2014 and conducted an 8 month deployment in the Gulf region, culminating in the 6 week passage home that included braving 18 foot waves of the Indian Ocean Monsoon, a Suez Canal transit and crossing a rough Mediterranean Sea. The ship, which celebrated its 25th birthday whilst in the Gulf, paid visits to Muscat, Salalah, Djibouti, Malta, Toulon and Gibraltar on her long journey home.
During 2014, HMS Quorn has also taken part in numerous multi-national exercises and supported UK industry including participation in the Doha International Maritime Defence Exhibition and an Omani-led multinational exercise Khunjar Hadd. This was followed by post deployment maintenance and sea training before she will make the journey to Ipswich late in November.
Lieutenant Commander Yates and the 45-strong crew of HMS Quorn will be welcomed to Ipswich by the Mayor, Councillor Bill Quinton, who will inspect the ship’s company on the Cornhill.
The Mayor said “It is always a proud occasion for Ipswich to officiate at any event to honour our Armed Services and HMS Quorn is particularly close to our hearts. I am sure many, many residents and visitors will take a break from their Christmas shopping to cheer the crew as they parade through the town centre. Let us show our Navy friends what a real Ipswich welcome looks and sounds like”.
The visit to Ipswich is equally eagerly anticipated by the Commanding Officer and crew of HMS Quorn. Lieutenant Commander Yates said “It is a real honour for HMS Quorn to finally exercise the Freedom of Entry to the Borough of Ipswich after a three year wait”.
“I know all of the Ship’s company are especially proud of our strong links to the city and we are looking forward to exercising that right when we parade through the town. We are also delighted to be opening the ship to the public and to offering local people the chance to see what life on board a minehunter is like”.