HMS Forward (shore establishment 1984)

HMS Forward is a Royal Naval Reserve unit located in Birmingham, England, close to St. Andrews football stadium. It has a crew of nearly 100 naval and marine reservists, in addition to a handful of full-time staff. The Birmingham University Royal Naval Unit, the Defence Technical Undergraduate Scheme 'Taurus Squadron' and a detachment of the Royal Marine Reserves Merseyside are also located on the site.[2] The ship is particularly unusual in that it is situated 80 miles from the sea.

The guard of HMS Forward parading at the National Memorial Arboretum, Alrewas, on Armed Forces Day 2010.
History
United Kingdom
Name: HMS Forward
Commissioned: 1 October 1984 as Birmingham Communications Training Centre[1]
Reclassified:
Status: Active
Badge:
General characteristics
Class and type: Stone frigate

History

The base originated on a different site during the Second World War, and was originally known as the regional Naval Communications Training Centre.[1] On 1 October 1984, the centre became a commissioned ship - a stone frigate - known as HMS Forward.[1] In early 1985, the unit moved to a former industrial unit on Sampson Rd North which, on 28 January 1986, was officially opened by The Princess Royal. The unit once again moved in April 1999, this time to a new purpose-built building. Once again the official opening was performed by The Princess Royal.[2] The ship acquired its name from the motto of the City of Birmingham - Forward.[2] The unit is affiliated with HMS Daring, a Type 45 destroyer currently in service with the Royal Navy.[3]

Awards and noted events

In 2000, the ship won the Richards Trophy, a national seamanship competition, at HMS Raleigh (shore establishment).[4]

In 2004, the ship was granted the Freedom of the City of Birmingham, from John Alden, Lord Mayor of Birmingham.[5]

In 2007, a team from the ship, led by new recruit Jules Morgan, rescued a man with hypothermia from Snowdon in driving hail.[6]

The ship became more famous in recent years when it produced a winner of The Sun Military Awards, Able Seaman Grandison, who won the national award for 'Best Reservist'. Grandison is a taxi-driver in Sandwell, but left his work and contracts to deploy to the Indian Ocean as part of a team to provide armed protection against piracy to RFA Wave Knight. He was later promoted to Leading Hand.[7][8][9]

Current tasks

Being the only large naval presence in the West Midlands, Forward is called upon to act in ceremonial duties and parades, and recently supplied contingents for the Birmingham Trafalgar Day,[10][11][12] Remembrance Day,[13] and Armed Forces Day parades.[14]

References

  1. Warlow, Ben (2000). Shore Establishments of the Royal Navy. Maritime Books. p. 12. ISBN 978-0-907771-74-6.
  2. "HMS Forward (Birmingham)". Royal Navy. Archived from the original on 14 June 2011. Retrieved 17 December 2010.
  3. Bradley, Paul (9 November 2007). "Birmingham's new warship is state-of-the-art HMS Daring". Birmingham Mail. Birmingham, United Kingdom. Retrieved 17 December 2010.
  4. Worrall, Boris (November 9, 2000). "Seamen on the crest of a wave". Birmingham Evening Mail. Archived from the original on March 12, 2016. Retrieved May 5, 2012.
  5. Tyler, Jane (May 31, 2004). "Freedom of Brum for hero sailors". Birmingham Evening Mail. Archived from the original on April 9, 2016. Retrieved May 5, 2012.
  6. Oliphant, Will (July 27, 2007). "Brum team Forward to the rescue! CLIMBING: Navy reservists save man on mountain". Birmingham Mail. Archived from the original on April 10, 2016. Retrieved May 5, 2012.
  7. Newton Dunn, Tom (16 December 2009). "I had Jenson in the front of my cab". The Sun. Retrieved 17 December 2010.
  8. "Outstanding Kate's a Millie as well as MC". Navy News. 21 December 2009. Retrieved 17 December 2010.
  9. "Royal Navy reservist's award pride". Express & Star. Wolverhampton. 17 December 2009. Retrieved 17 December 2010.
  10. "Units mark Trafalgar victory across the country". Navy News. United Kingdom. 23 December 2009. Retrieved 17 December 2010.
  11. Roberts, Trevor (26 October 2009). "Trafalgar Day parade". Birmingham Post. Birmingham, United Kingdom. Retrieved 17 December 2010.
  12. Oliphant, William (26 October 2009). "Parade marks 200th anniversary of unveiling of Birmingham's Lord Nelson statue". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved 17 December 2010.
  13. Quinton, Darren (9 November 2009). "Day of National Remembrance in Centenary Square". Birmingham Post. Birmingham, United Kingdom. Retrieved 17 December 2010.
  14. Bradley, Paul (27 June 2009). "Birmingham to show support for Armed Forces". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved 17 December 2010.


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