Fareham sailor Lianne recreates treasured Taj Mahal snap of dad exactly 70 years later

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IT’S a picture of her father sitting in front of the Taj Mahal in India, that she and her family treasured.

And now Warrant Officer Lianne Evans has recreated the moment when she visited the famous landmark.

WO1 Lianne Evans, of HMS Defender, recreates a photograph from her father's visit to the Taj Mahal 70 years ago, sitting on the same bench

WO1 Lianne Evans, of HMS Defender, recreates a photograph from her father's visit to the Taj Mahal 70 years ago, sitting on the same bench

WO Evans, who works aboard Portsmouth-based destroyer HMS Defender, took the chance to recreate the family snap while visiting the country.

And although there may be a few more trees now – and considerably more tourists – the view of the historic 17th century mausoleum, built by a Moghul emperor as he mourned the death of his wife, has changed little over seven decades.

‘I feel so lucky to have visited such a magical place,’ said mother-of-two Lianne, who works in Defender’s weapon engineer department.

‘Knowing that my father was here all those years ago made it a very special moment indeed – and one that my family at home will love.’

Knowing that my father was here all those years ago made it a very special moment indeed – and one that my family at home will love.

Warrant Officer Lianne Evans, HMS Defender

Glaswegian James ‘Wee Jimmy’ Rice served in the army’s Royal Corps of Signals during the Second World War and its immediate aftermath.

His stint in the military included a five-year spell in India – and the obligatory visit to the iconic building on the outskirts of Agra in 1946 when he was aged about 22.

‘Wee Jimmy’ left the army long before Lianne came into the world, but she remembered the black-and-white photo from her childhood.

The chance to recreate the image came after Defender joined India’s International Fleet Review.

James 'Wee Jimmy' Rice, Army Corps of Signals, poses in front of the Taj Mahal, India, in 1946

James 'Wee Jimmy' Rice, Army Corps of Signals, poses in front of the Taj Mahal, India, in 1946

The destroyer spent five days in and around the east coast port of Visakhapatnam alongside nearly 100 other warships from India and dozens of other nations.

The break was a chance for many of the ship’s company to explore the sub-continent – in Lianne’s case making the 1,500-mile round trip to Agra.

Defender has now resumed maritime security patrols of the Indian Ocean having most recently supported French and American air strikes against the forces of Isil in the Middle East as part of the carrier task groups of the French ship Charles de Gaulle and USS Harry S Truman.

Defender is due to return to Portsmouth later this year after a nine-month deployment.