HMS Gloucester leaves Portsmouth for the last time

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The former HMS Gloucester has left Portsmouth Dockyard for the last time heading for a scrap yard in Turkey.

It was a poignant moment as former crew members of HMS Gloucester gathered at the Round Tower to say goodbye.

HMS Gloucester

HMS Gloucester

Crowds gathered in Old Portsmouth to wave goodbye to the ship which is the final Destroyer to be scrapped for spare parts.

Rear Admiral Philip Wilcocks, who was Commanding Officer on the ship, said: ‘Today is very sad but it is wonderful to see so many people here to say goodbye.

‘The fact she is the last of her kind makes today sadder for everyone who served on the Type-42s.’The Type 42 destroyer will be tugged out of the naval base at about 11am and will be passing the Round Tower, in Broad Street, Old Portsmouth, at about 11.15am.

Veterans of the ship’s company as well as members of the Type 42 Association are expected to gather at the historic battlement to watch as the ship is towed away.

A spokesman from the Type 42 Association said the occasion would be a ‘very sad’ one.

Gloucester – known throughout the fleet as the ‘Fighting G’ – returned home to Portsmouth on May 24, 2011 after completing her final deployment, being decommissioned on June 30, 2011.

In January 1991, while escorting the American battleship USS Missouri in the Gulf War, the ship fired a salvo of Sea Dart missiles, destroying an Iraqi Silkworm missile, which is believed to be the first successful missile versus missile strike of its kind.

In her 29 years of service the ship travelled 787,928 miles, seeing action across the globe.