Royal Navy sailors from a Plymouth warship have been given the royal seal of approval for their stand-out work during anti-submarine operations.
Chief Petty Officer Julian Lee and Petty Officer Luke Ebsworth from HMS Somerset were awarded the Queen’s Commendation for Valuable Service (QCVS) in recognition of service during a three-month operation in perilous winter seas.
The QCVSs topped off another week of success which began when Writer Tobias Travers, 30, from west Cornwall, who plays a key role in administration of the crew’s pay and technical documentation, scooped a Royal Navy logistics branch apprentice award.
The apprentice award was presented by the Head of the Navy, Admiral Sir George Zambellas. The awards are highly sought after as the Royal Navy offers over two thousand apprenticeships.
Tobias said: “I’m absolutely speechless. It has been a busy year onboard and it is great to be recognised by the Royal Navy for the hard work.”
More than 20 years’ of operations by the ship were also celebrated by an unprecedented gathering of HMS Somerset’s former commanding officers and affiliates including Lady Layard, who launched her in 1994 and the Duke of Somerset.
The event brought back to life memories of missions around the world during which the ship has protected the nation’s interests, countering piracy, terrorism and crime on the high seas while working to build friendships across the globe.
HMS Somerset’s captain, Commander Michael Wood said: “As the 12th Commanding Officer of HMS Somerset, it gives me great pleasure to reunite former captains with leaders of our affiliated organisations from across the county of and dukedom of Somerset whose name we share. With the ship working hard to protect British interests around the globe, they have long given us support, encouragement and friendship.
“It is the quality of our people that makes the Royal Navy so strong. The event was made doubly special with the announcement of the award of Queen’s Commendations for Valuable Service to two of our best senior ratings in recognition of their contribution to recent operations in UK waters, plus an apprentice award to one of our junior sailors for his outstanding progress in a logistics apprenticeship.”
The individual awards were hot on the heels of HMS Somerset being crowned the Royal Navy’s most effective frigate for her successes in many fields including counter narcotics, search and rescue.
Finally whilst en-route to Newcastle where many of the sailors proudly showed off the Royal Navy’s most effective frigate to friends and family, Chief Petty Officer Neil Smith was presented with the Apothecaries’ Award for Excellence for his dedication to the ship and Royal Navy over the last year.
Each ship in the Royal Navy has an affiliated Livery Company and Colonel Jane Carey-Harris (Rtd) presented the award on behalf of the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries to Neil and the runners-up: Chief Petty Officer Julian Lee and Petty Officer Neil Robertson
After the brief stop in Newcastle HMS Somerset is now back on patrol ready to respond to any threats to the UK.