Mine sweeper’s crew on course for freedom parade

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THE crew of HMS Grimsby will exercise their freedom of the town this month by taking part in a parade.

The vessel was granted Freedom of the Borough of North East Lincolnshire in 2001, and as well as celebrating its links with the town in the parade on Sunday, February 19, it will also host an open day and school visits.

The Sandown-class mine hunter was built by Vosper Thornycroft in Southampton and was commissioned into the Royal Navy in September, 1999.

She is the second Royal Navy ship to bear the name and the first mine hunter to do so.

The first HMS Grimsby was a sloop built in Devonport Dockyard and launched in July, 1933. At the outbreak of the Second World War, she was on the China Station but was recalled to the UK to see extensive service and earn three battle honours.

But in May 1941, following heavy and sustained attack from enemy aircraft, she sank 40 miles north east of Tobruk.

The Mayor of North East Lincolnshire, Coun Susan Pickett, said: “It is an honour to have HMS Grimsby and its crew visit us for this special occasion. Civic parades such as this are a great opportunity to strengthen the bonds between the community and the armed forces, and I expect many, many people will be keen to come along to show their support for the amazing job that this crew does on behalf of the country.”

The vessel is also affiliated to organisations including Cleethorpes and Grimsby Royal Naval Association, Old Clee Royal Naval Association, Diana Princess of Wales Hospital, and Royal Naval Patrol Service Veterans Grimsby.