The Navy put on a show for HMS Queen Elizabeth

The arrival of HMS Queen Elizabeth to its home port of Portsmouth attracted thousands of spectators. I don’t know, is there another nation that celebrates in such numbers the arrival of a ship into port? Maybe it’s because we’re an island nation and naval power is important to our survival.

We stood by the Square Tower, on the historic fortifications, close by the Sally port where Nelson left to fight the Battle of Trafalgar.

The Royal Navy put on a show for today’s arrival. Sailors of HMS Queen Elizabeth lined the decks, and as the huge ship, majestically, arrived at Portsmouth it was accompanied by numerous helicopters, and also a couple of fighter jets. The throng of spectators were kept informed through a helpful public address system.

Spotting a business opportunity, a flag seller was doing good business with Union Jacks, and were Royal Navy staff. Being there, and witnessing the large ship ever built for the Royal Navy, gave a sense of pride, wonder, and not a little emotion. With the public address, helicopters and cheering crowds, it was a noisy event. I’ll write more about the day later. We’re now off to a reception. and will be completely at the end of this evening.

My report and video of HMS Queen Elizabeth arriving at Portsmouth will be posted here later today

We’ll be at Southsea, or wherever we can get a good position, to see HMS Queen Elizabeth arrive at Portsmouth at 0710 am. Should be quite a sight, as I image all the sailors on board will line the ship, if not I’ll be mega-disappointed.

When we get back home, I’ll work on my report and a video of the arrival, and post it here. It’s sure to be in the TV News.

Means getting up early to see supercarrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth

Thought we were going to miss the arrival of the Royal Navy’s new supercarrier – HMS Queen Elizabeth, at Portsmouth. It’s now confirmed to be arriving in Portsmouth Naval Dockyard at 0710 am approximately on Wednesday 16th August.

To see her arrive means getting up at 5 something – eurgh – though has to be one of those not to be missed events. Must hunt for our Union Jacks.

What do you know about the GHQ Line and military defences?

Explanation first. The GHQ Line [General Headquarters Line] was a defence line built in the during World War II to contain an expected German invasion.

The defence line comprised hundreds of concrete pillboxes and anti-tank defences. Here in Surrey Heath we are above the GHQ Line- see map below – though we do have a smattering of pillboxes, notably one on Deepcut Bridge Road at its junction with Old Bisley Road. As ever, wonderfully, there’s a group of people dedicated to their preservation – see the Pillbox Study Group website.

Chris Kolonko, a military heritage specialist, in his Mapping the GHQ lines in Google Earth, provides the necessary detail on the location of each of the defences. Here’s a screenshot from one of his maps. If you’re interested, you’ll find much more to discover on his maps.

HMS Queen Elizabeth supercarrier to arrive in Portsmouth in the ‘next few weeks’

Reported in the UK Defence Journal is that the supercarrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth, will arrive in its home port of Portsmouth in the ‘next few weeks’. The report said,

We asked a contact what they were told would be the most likely date:

“17th-19th of this month with Friday 18th being most likely. Obviously subject to change, weather, breakdowns, tides etc, but the tidal conditions and time frame is when best suits the RN/BAE best… currently”

Defence Minister, Harriet Baldwin MP announced the completion of dredging to enable HMS Queen Elizabeth to dock in Portsmouth.

Definitely worth a trip to Portsmouth to see it arrive.

Gloriously noisy Fire Power Demonstration at the Royal Logistic Corps Open Day at Deepcut

I don’t want to appear militaristic, but I’m content living close to the Bisley & Pirbright Ranges, where we’re used to gun fire and big bangs. It’s fun to see the firing up close, although I should report that the firing in this video isn’t from guns normally heard on the ranges.

Among the many arena events at last Saturday’s Royal Logistic Corps Open Day was a Fire Power Demonstration. The set up was to free hostages held in enemy hands, and to release them the Army bought troops and a couple of Jackal fighting vehicles. Here’s my video of the demo, with plenty of gun fire.

A third fun day in the company of the Army

Yesterday we visited the Grenadier Day at Lille Barracks in Aldershot.  The barracks are the home of the 1st Battalion of the Grenadier Guards. So, that’ the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst Heritage Day, the Royal Logistic Corps Open Day, and now the Grenadier Day. Perhaps, we need to look elsewhere for our weekend fun. But I do so love the Army, and out of curiosity, I wanted to see inside Lille barracks.

We found seats placed almost around the events arena. Would be a good idea for the RMA and RLC to do the same, We plonked ourselves down, enjoyed the events unfolding in front of us, all of which was accompanied by hot dogs, chips, and ice creams. We never did find the tea tent, though the beer tent offered a selection of beers and cider.

The whole day was a family day for the Grenadiers. What was is it that General MacArthur said, “old soldiers never die, they just fade away”. Well, there were plenty of old soldiers, and their families, at the Grenadier Day. I lost count of the number of tents for the respective branches of the Grenadier Guards Association.

I was amused by the name of the road from the Barracks entrance gate, it was called Harmes Way. Fitting I thought for those who put themselves in harm’s way. Here’s my photo montage of our visit.