HMS Ark Royal returns home to Greenpeace protests in 1988

The warmth of the welcome home to Portsmouth for aircraft carried HMS Ark Royal overwhelmed a nuclear weapons protest by Greenpeace and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.Â

Thursday, 20th December 2018, 11:39 am
Updated Thursday, 10th January 2019, 10:25 am
Greenpeace demonstrators circle HMS Ark Royal in protest at its alleged weaponry in 1988.

Families and friends lined the water front and waved as the Ark, Britain's largest warship, returned home after six months deployment to the Far East and Australia. 

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There were emotional quayside reunions for the companies of both Ark Royal and her sister carrier HMS Illustrious which arrived home for Christmas after their globe-circling tours. But families were joined by peace protesters. 

Ark Royal, dogged by similar anti-nuclear protests during her world tour, was escorted in from the Solent by two Greenpeace inflatable dinghies, carrying '˜Keep the Seas Nuclear-Free' banners. Ark Royal had been prevented from docking in Malta, was met with protests in Sydney and strikes in Melbourne.

On board the carrier, Rear Admiral Peter Woodhead said: '˜They are perfectly entitled to come out in protest but I hope they are open to discussing the issue.' '‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹