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York says farewell to HMS York
THE bells of York Minster rang out, the band played on and the crowds applauded as the city bid farewell to HMS York.
The ship’s company paraded through the city centre for the last time on Saturday ahead of her decommissioning at Portsmouth later this year. The event culminated with a fly past by the ship’s Lynx helicopter.
Yesterday, HMS York’s officers and crew offered the citizens of York a last chance to go on board as part of a weekend of events to mark the crew’s last visit to the city which also included a rugby match with York RUFC .
The Type 42 destroyer was moored at Hull while her officers and crew go inland to make their farewells to the city whose name she bears.
Since she was awarded the Freedom of the City on March 23, 1991, she has sailed 750,000 nautical miles, seen action off Iraq, carried out evacuations from Lebanon and Benghazi, Libya, and made so many trips to the Falklands, in the words of her last captain, Commander Rex Cox, “she could find her way there by herself”.
Last December, she shadowed and escorted a small Russian task force through British waters off Scotland where they were sheltering from severe storms.
“It is heartening to know we have the full support of the city of York and we have always been overwhelmed by the warmth of our welcome,” said Commander Cox during the parade.
He revealed that her replacement, HMS Dragon, wanted to continue the Royal Navy’s “historic relationship” with York and urged the city to give her the welcome HMS York has always received.