HMS Manchester De-Commissioning Ceremony
Thursday 24 February 2011
On a bright but cold morning past Master Sue Hughes, Court Assistants Mark Hardy and John Lecutier together with Past Master Michael Wren met at Portsmouth Harbour to attend the De-commissioning Ceremony of the World Trader's Royal Navy affiliate ship HMS Manchester.
With HMS Manchester moored alongside the jetty, at 10.50hrs the Guard of Honour marched into position let by Lt Commander John Bullock with the band of the Royal Marines School of Music playing in the background. Soon after Commander Rex Cox disembarked from the ship to greet the Lord Mayor of Manchester and Rear Admiral Anderson who then proceeded to inspected the Guard before the Service of Thanksgiving commenced.
A most moving service followed let by Father Mike Wagstaff a former Chaplain to HMS Manchester that culminated with warm words from Commander Cox and the lowering for the last time of the White Ensign and the Jack. At this time one of the new Type 45 Destroyers, HMS Daring, sailed quietly by heading northward up the Solent showing that although it was a sad moment for the 'Might Manch' there was something to look forward to in the future.
With the formal proceedings over some 300 people including many past Commanding Officers from the ship together with families and friends of existing serving officers and crew joined together for a splendid reception on the quayside by the ship.