HMS Illustrious visits London
Media Release from the Royal Navy
As a centrepiece for the Navy’s Remembrance weekend celebrations, the 22,500 tonne Portsmouth-based warship – known affectionately to her crew as ‘Lusty’ - will be steamed up the Thames on the afternoon of Friday 10 Nov, passing under the QEII Bridge at 1420 and through the Thames Barrier at 1510. The ship turned in West India Dock entrance at 1540 and moored off Greenwich at approximately 1630. Her Ship’s Company will take part in a number of activities in the Capital during her six day visit. The Commanding Officer, Captain Tim Fraser RN said “It is a great honour to bring HMS Illustrious to support the City of London in its Act of Remembrance as well as being able to reinforce the Ship’s affiliations with the City. We are very much looking forward to the weekend.”
Starting with Lord Mayor’s Show in the City on Saturday where the ship is provided an honour guard of 50 sailors, the focus for Remembrance weekend ceremonies naturally moved to the Cenotaph on Sunday, however the ship will also be contributing to events in the City of London. One Falkland Island veterans serving onboard Illustrious, Warrant Officer Jan Pellow from Plymouth, will be remembering the conflict of almost 25 years ago; “Every year I am reminded of those who gave so much. However this year is particularly poignant and has sparked personal memories of nearly 25 years ago. It has reminded me how lucky I am, and I‘m proud to be involved in this particular anniversary.”
An official reception was held onboard on Saturday evening with up to 750 invited guests from across the Capital and from affiliated organisations. 250 of the Ship’s Company and their families attended the Remembrance Service at St Paul’s Cathedral on Sunday. The aircraft carrier is home to a number of Londoners and Air Engineering Technician Andrew Kent from South West London said “Having grown up and still living in South West London, it is a great honour to visit this fantastic city with HMS Illustrious, the Royal Navy’s flagship. We have a strong bond with London in general and the City in particular, and it’s a special honour to be here for such an important weekend. It will make my Mum - born and bred in the Square Mile - very proud indeed.”
Monday will see the national launch of the RN Presentation Team’s 06/07 tour and the Ministerial launch of the commemorations for the 25th anniversary of the Falklands Campaign. Also on that day, the ship will host a number of media organisations with a possibility of live programmes being aired from the ship.