THIS WEEK IN 1997: Volcano veteran back with a bang

Leading WEM Phil Phillips, from Fareham, waves to his wife, Lynne, in the crowd as HMS Liverpool returns home after seven months on duty
Leading WEM Phil Phillips, from Fareham, waves to his wife, Lynne, in the crowd as HMS Liverpool returns home after seven months on duty
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HMS Liverpool made an explosive return to Portsmouth.

A mock-up volcano smoked and smouldered on the hangar roof and a Caribbean-style ‘steel band’ played brightly coloured oil drums as the destroyer sailed into harbour.

During her seven-month deployment to the West Indies the destroyer spent 28 days off the British dependency of Montserrat helping the people of the volcano-hit island.

Petty Officer Mal Chumbley, 33, of Gosport, had the idea of the mock-up volcano to herald Liverpool’s return after a similar homecoming gesture when her sister ship Southampton returned from Montserrat two years previously.