WATCH: HMS Lancaster returns home to Portsmouth

Passchendaele. Picture: Imperial War Museum

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The crew of HMS Lancaster returned home to Portsmouth today.

Families and friends gathered at the naval base to greet the frigate as she returned from a nine-month deployment to the North and South Atlantic.

Among them was Jade Thompson, 25, from Grimsby who was there to meet her boyfriend Engineering Technician (Weapon Engineering) Sonny Wilson. The couple have an 18-month-year-old son together, called Olly.

Jade said: ‘It’s been hard but I am excited and really pleased and looking forward to Christmas.’

ET WE Wilson added: ‘I am relieved and so happy to be home. It’s been a long time. I am so happy to see my little boy and my girlfriend and her mum.

‘I have enjoyed it. It’s been good. I went to 18 different countries and four different oceans. It’s been amazing.

‘Now, I am home for Christmas.’

Meanwhile, LET Matthew Dugard, 26, from Southsea, said: ‘It’s been a good experience. In terms of being away, this one has been the hardest.

‘But helping people less fortunate than us was unbelievable. Helping them out with the simplest of things made it all worth it in the end.

‘Being home for Christmas is even better.’