Captain’s pride as HMS Diamond returns to Portsmouth

HMS Diamond entering Portsmouth Harbour today. Picture: Lt-Cdr 'Shamus' Roster
HMS Diamond entering Portsmouth Harbour today. Picture: Lt-Cdr 'Shamus' Roster
Detail from an exact replica of Lord Nelson's diamond Chelengk jewels. Picture:Andrew Matthews/Press Association

Replica of Nelson’s stolen jewel on display

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Families and friends have been reunited with their loved ones after seven months as HMS Diamond arrived home in Portsmouth today.

The Type 45 destroyed sailed from the city in January, bound for the Middle East.

But world events changed their course and they ended up involved in the operation to escort chemical weapons from Syria.

They saw the mission through to its end and made a triumphant return home today.

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Watch video of HMS Diamond’s return

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Engineering Technician (Weapon Engineering) Jack Collins, 20, said: ‘It’s great to be home at last.

‘Everyone on board has been looking forward to this day and it’s always nice to be back.

‘It was my first deployment and it met all my expectations and then some.’

The sailors on board completed the final pick-up of weapons at the end of last month.

Commander Andy Ingham, the ship’s commanding officer, said: ‘As I come towards the end of my 18 months in command of HMS Diamond, the successful conclusion of this operation and the second deployment within HMS Diamond’s life has without doubt been the crowning jewel for me.

‘To say I am proud of what my team has achieved is an understatement.

‘I have been privileged to command such a professional ship’s company throughout a deployment of this nature and be here for the homecoming which is such a special day for us all.’