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24 September 2014
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HMS Hermes
Crowds greeting HMS Hermes

Point 4 - Saluting Platform

This section of the fortifications is the point where navy VIPs salute fleets of ships as they sail into war and where families and well-wishers would greet the crews when they return home to a hero's welcome.


This part of the seafront was crammed with people on 21st July 1982 when HMS Hermes, the flagship of the British taskforce to the Falklands, arrived back after 10 months away in the South Atlantic.

After 108 days at sea, the aircraft carrier, named after the messenger of Greek gods, sailed back into Portsmouth after her 8,000 mile mission which involved 101 Royal Navy ships and 25,000 personnel.

Dirty and streaked with rust, she arrived with one side decorated with a scoreboard showing the 46 enemy aircraft shot down by her Sea Harrier fighters.

Thousands of well-wishers, relatives and friends of the crew lined the sea wall to welcome home the 1,700 crew,  Royal Marines and survivors of the destroyed HMS Sheffield.

Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was helicoptered onto the ship as she made her way up the Solent into Portsmouth.

Her Majesty's Naval Base, Portsmouth is the home of the Royal Navy and harbours two thirds of the navy's surface fleet.

Make your way down the ramp and walk along the narrow cobbled street which takes you into Broad Street to hear about Portsmouth's seedy side!...

last updated: 18/07/05
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