Neil Marsden visited HMS MONMOUTH during her Cardiff visit in late April 2009. Neil comments that the only overall view he could secure was the stern shot left but this shows a couple of the famous emblems of the ship's unique status in the RN
The ship is known as the 'Black Duke' in recognition of James Scott, Duke of Monmouth allegedly the illegitimate son of Charles II. On Charles' death he was succeeded by James II as a consequence of which Monmouth led an unsuccessful revolt 'The Monmouth Rebellion', he was captured and executed in 1685.
Following the rebellion Monmouth's title and coat of arms were 'blacked' but later following the succession of King William, his status as a protestant 'hero' was affirmed.
Unlike any other Royal Naval vessel, the ship's name on 'Monmouth's' hull is painted black instead of the normal red, she also flies a plain black flag, both visible in the photograph. It will be noted even the gangway 'canvas' and the traditional gangway lifebelt are similarly in black. The next view from the forecastle shows the Mk8 4.5" Mod.1 gun
The ship's Battle Honours on a beautifully carved wooden plaque which hangs close by the Officer's Wardroom. The present vessel is the seventh to bear the name and has the distinction of the greatest number of battle honours of any vessel currently serving in the fleet.
The Cardiff visit was mainly a break for the crew who are mid way through BOST exercises. Of course it didn't stop the usual VIP visits and the presentation of a cheque for nearly £400 raised by a charity rowing event. The money raised went to a special needs school in Monmouth the lads 'rowed' (on the gym rowing machines) the equivalent distance from Devonport to Cardiff. Next fourth photo from the left shows the starboard DS30B 30mm Oerlikon gun and the latest 'Pacific 24; RHIB :- The new Pacific 24 is based on a highly proven hull form that offers exceptional seakeeping and load carrying ability. Powered by a single 6-cylinder Yanmar marine diesel driving a Hamilton HJ 241 waterjet the craft is capable of service speeds in excess of 39 knots.
Lastly the ship's flight, an Augusta Westland Merlin HM1 (Formerly EH101) helicopter, it's a big aircraft!!
|Engines||3 x 2,200shp gas turbines.|
|Max Speed||167 knots|
|Max weight||14.6 tonnes|
1 pilot + 1 observer + 1 aircrewman