A CEREMONY marking the return to the fleet of helicopter carrier HMS Illustrious following a £40m upgrade has taken place at sea.
The re-dedication was held in the ship’s hangar while she was off the UK coast – a rare occurrence among navy ships as most similar ceremonies take place in the ship’s home port.
It involved the entire 700 ship’s company, with several hymns provided by the ship’s volunteer band. In keeping with naval tradition the ceremony concluded with the cutting of a rededication cake by the youngest sailor on board. Performing the honour was 18-year-old Chef Lewis Steel.
The ship emerged from a 16-month refit in Scotland in June during which she was converted to the helicopter carrier role.