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HMS Dragon becomes first Royal Navy ship since the Second World War to be affiliated with Wrexham

HMS Dragon becomes first Royal Navy ship since the Second World War to be affiliated with Wrexham
Royal Navy Image
Royal Navy Press Release
For the first time since the Second World War a Royal Navy warship will be affiliated with Welsh city Wrexham.

Instantly recognisable by her roaring Welsh Dragons emblazoned across her bows, HMS Dragon became the fourth warship to be bonded to the city in a ceremony at her homeport of Portsmouth.

Officials gathered next to HMS Dragon – one the Royal Navy’s advanced Type 45 air defence destroyers – to officially pass the affiliation from the Welsh capital Cardiff to Wrexham in the northeast of the country.

The ship’s Commanding Officer, Commander Iain Giffin said: “HMS Dragon has enjoyed a proud and strong affiliation with the City of Cardiff for over twelve years. We would like to extend our heartfelt thanks and gratitude to the city’s officials and residents for the hospitality and friendship they have extended to us as their affiliated warship.

“Cardiff has been an invaluable partner and we cherish the memories and relationships made over the years. We are pleased that the Royal Navy will maintain a close partnership with the City of Cardiff and wish them every success for their future affiliation with HMS Cardiff.”

He continued: “HMS Dragon is immensely proud to be able to continue to abide by the fine traditions of our Welsh heritage, and to establish a new partnership and formal affiliation with the City of Wrexham. We are honoured that Wrexham has agreed to affiliate with HMS Dragon and are excited to establish a strong and enduring partnership with the City and its people. Welcome aboard, Wrexham.”

The previous affiliations to Wrexham stemmed from Warship Weeks – national campaigns in the Second World War with the aim of a city, town or village adopting a Royal Navy warship to raise cash to fund a particular vessel.

Wrexham County Borough adopted three ships during the war.

W-class destroyer HMS Veteran – sunk in 1942 by a German torpedo in the North Atlantic – was affiliated with Wrexham itself, while Flower-class corvette HMS Begonia – sold in 1946 – was associated with West Wrexham, while HMS Anemone – sold to Norway in 1949 – was affiliated to Rhosllanerchrugog, which sits in the Wrexham County Borough.

Alongside HMS Dragon in Portsmouth Naval Base were officials from the Cities of Cardiff and Wrexham, including the Mayor of Wrexham, Councillor Andy Williams and Council Leader Councillor Mark Pritchard as well as Wrexham Council’s Armed Forces Champion, Councillor Beverley Parry-Jones.

Cllr Parry-Jones said: “Wrexham has a long and proud affiliation with the armed forces, and this is a huge honour for the city. We’re so proud to support the men and women who serve our country – they do an incredible job in keeping us safe, and it will be an immense honour to support HMS Dragon and everyone who serves on her.

“I am very much looking forward to meeting the ship’s company and welcoming them to Wrexham at a later date.”

HMS Dragon, currently undergoing the final phases of her refit in Portsmouth, is set to emerge in the coming months after upgrades to her engines, sensors and weapon systems, that will bolster her already world-leading capabilities.

Trials of HMS Dragon’s systems are set to follow in the dockyard before she proceeds to conduct extensive sea trials along the south coast, to test her enhanced combat systems and power performances.


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