When Vice-Admiral Henry Leach, pictured, relinquished his appointment as as Flag Officer First Flotilla, in Portsmouth Naval Base, he was towed away from his flagship, HMS Blake –in a wicker basket.
The basket symbolised the fact that Admiral Leach and his staff had literally lived out of suitcases as they went round the world with the navy’s destroyers and frigates.
Blake’s ship company gave three cheers as Admiral Leach was piped ashore and towed away on a dockyard trolley by his staff.
The scene was more formal earlier, however, when Admiral Leach, his Flag Captain, with guard and band, met his successor, Vice-Admiral Anthony Morton onboard a helicopter cruiser.
Admiral Morton’s appointment carries with it command of more than half the navy’s destroyers and frigates and is the most senior post afloat.
Admiral Leach later transferred to the Ministry of Justice just over a month after his departure, as Vice-Chief of Defence Staff, where Admiral Morton had previously served as Assistant Chief of Defence Staff (Policy).