THERE were joyous scenes as family and friends welcomed home the crew of warship HMS Ledbury.
Not even the rain could dampen the spirits of 180 loved ones as the Hunt class minesweeper returned to Portsmouth Naval Base after a six-month tour of the Mediterranean Sea.
A highlight of the tour was the detonation of a Second World War mine last month.
Able seaman Shawn Benjamin, 27, of Normandy Road, Hilsea, returned home to wife Claire, 27, and children Shavin, six, and Saraya, two.
He said: ‘It’s really good to be back and see everyone.’
Claire said: ‘It’s tough because of the kids, they are young so they don’t understand it too much.’
Kate Robertson, 43, of Elson in Gosport, and her son James Haey, 14, greeted fiance petty officer Paul Broadbent, 41.
She said: ‘It’s so good to have him back.’