HMS Monmouth – aka Black Duke – returns to Devonport


Devonport-based warship HMS Monmouth has returned to Plymouth after a seven-month tour of the Middle East.

Commanding officer Cdr Gordon Ruddock said after a “busy few months” the 185-strong crew looked forward to leave.

The Type 23 frigate was welcomed back by hundreds of families, friends and a Royal Marines band.

Since leaving her home port of Plymouth in October, HMS Monmouth has covered 53,000 miles, crossed four time zones and visited eight countries.

“My team have done a tremendous job over the past seven months and are now looking forward to some well-deserved leave,” Cdr Ruddock said.

Known within the fleet as “The Black Duke”, HMS Monmouth took part in anti-piracy and maritime security operations to help protect what are considered to be some of the busiest shipping lanes in the world.

The ship owes her nickname to the first Duke of Monmouth who was executed for treason in 1685 after unsuccessfully attempting to depose his uncle James II.

His title was dissolved and coat of arms blacked out and so HMS Monmouth flies a plain black flag from her mainmast.

Unlike any other ship in the Royal Navy, Monmouth’s name is painted black on her stern instead of red.


Original Article