Commanding Officer of Raleigh bids farewell

The Commanding Officer of HMS Raleigh, Captain Ellie Ablett, has left the establishment for the final time, yesterday, to take up a new post on promotion.

Staff and trainees lined the road as Capt Ablett made her departure sitting on a Field Gun limber, which was pulled by members of HMS Raleigh’s Field Gun crew. 

Earlier she had presented her final commendations to Service and civilian staff in recognition of outstanding work.

Capt Ablett became the 42nd Commanding Officer of HMS Raleigh and the first woman to be appointed to the helm of a major Royal Navy training base in September 2016.

It has been a great privilege to serve as Commanding Officer of HMS Raleigh.

Captain Ellie Ablett RN

Highlights of her two years in charge include overseeing some 70 Passing out Parades as well as celebrations to mark the 100th anniversary of the Women’s Royal Naval Service, the visit of Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal and the unveiling of a new portrait of CPO Kate Nesbitt, the first female sailor to earn the Military Cross for bravery.

Capt Ablett said:  “It has been a great privilege to serve as Commanding Officer of HMS Raleigh. 

“I leave full of confidence for the future of our Service, which has been embodied by the new Recruits passing out virtually every week of my tenure and by the commitment of the staff who have nurtured them to that point.”

Having joined the Royal Navy in 1993, Capt Ablett was among the first wave of women joining a fully integrated service on the closure of the Women’s Royal Naval Service. 

In 2013 she established a professional network for women in the Naval Service as a way of promoting effective talent management and an inclusive culture across the organisation.

Capt Ablett was among the recent winners of the We Are The City Rising Stars 2018 awards in the Champion category. 

The awards were introduced to showcase the UK pipeline of female talent and to create female role models across different industries and professions.  A total of 1,250 individuals entered the awards and were judged by a panel of 54 independent judges.

After a period of leave Capt Ablett will take up the post of Head of People Capability at Navy Command Headquarters in the rank of Commodore. 

The new Commanding Officer of HMS Raleigh will be Capt Rich Harris, who will take up appointment in September.