HMS Scimitar visits Tangier for Remembrance Sunday

HMS Scimitar visited Tangier to take part in events for Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day.

The Royal Navy boat left the Rock for a short trip across the Strait of Gibraltar to Morocco. As well as Royal Navy Gibraltar Squadron personnel, representatives from the Gibraltar Defence Police and Royal Gibraltar Regiment were also on board.

Scimitar was greeted with a warm welcome upon her arrival by members of the Royal Moroccan Navy and the weekend’s activities began with the boat’s Commanding Officer Lieutenant James Young and the Commanding Officer of fellow Royal Navy vessel HMS Sabre, Lt Lloyd Cardy attending appointments with the local Royal Moroccan Army unit and the Commandant of the Northern Sector of Morocco.

On Remembrance Sunday the deployed team attended a Service of Remembrance in the city where wreaths were laid at the Commonwealth graves in St Andrew’s Church, Tangier.

On February 6, 1942 an explosion rocked the port of Tangier as the Bland vessel Rescue was alongside. Among those killed in the explosion were four police officers from the Gibraltar Security Police (the precursor to the Gibraltar Defence Police).  For the recently formed small police force the loss of four colleagues was a devastating blow.

Each year the Chief Police Officer, or one of his officers, travels to Tangier together with the Armed Forces personnel from Gibraltar to lay a wreath in memory of the fallen officers.

It was an honour to represent the Royal Navy on Remembrance Sunday and remember those that have fallen especially those that fell in this part of the world.

Lt Young

Lt Young said: “The opportunity to deploy to Tangier and contribute to maintaining the relationship between Morocco and the UK was an immense privilege. ”

Whilst HMS Scimitar was deployed overseas, the operations of the squadron within British Gibraltar Territorial Waters continued, with HMS Sabre and the Squadron’s PAC24 RHIBs maintaining their sovereignty patrols of the area.

Squadron Commanding Officer Lieutenant Commander Kyle Walkley said: “The deployment to Tangier provides the chance for members of British Forces Gibraltar to pay their respects to the fallen at the site of Commonwealth War Graves overseas, it also gives the Commanding Officers and ship’s company a chance to conduct regional engagement and further strengthen the relationship that Gibraltar and the wider UK has with Morocco.