HMS Liverpool decommissioned in Portsmouth

Passchendaele. Picture: Imperial War Museum

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HMS Liverpool was decommissioned at a ceremony in Portsmouth today.

The Type 42 destroyer paid off after 30 years of service in the Royal Navy.

LAST SALUTE  HMS Liverpool today

LAST SALUTE HMS Liverpool today

There was pomp and ceremony from the Royal Marines Band as prayers and hymns were led by naval chaplain The Reverend Charles Bruzon in front of 200 guests.

During her service, the warship was stationed in the Falklands for six months after the conflict with Argentina in 1982 and took part in the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

She hit the headlines once again last year for her role in the war in Libya where she became the first ship to be fired on since the Falklands War.

She returned to her home base in Portsmouth for the last time on Monday after a farewell voyage to her namesake city of Liverpool, and war games in Norway during which Prince Charles visited the ship.

Liverpool’s White Ensign was lowered for the last time at the end of today’s ceremony which was bathed in glorious sunshine at the naval base.

Commanding officer, Commander Colin Williams, said: ‘It’s hugely emotional, it’s a very sad day. The ship has done a fantastic job for the nation.

‘My lower lip was wobbling quite a bit towards the end. The sailors did an amazing job - saying goodbye to a ship is not a job anyone wants to have to do but they did it very well.’

The warship is being decommissioned as part of the planned transfer over to the navy’s new fleet of six £1bn Type 45 destroyers.

She will be moored in Portsmouth for the foreseeable future while the Ministry of Defence negotiates her sale.