Freedom of Poole for Navy Ship

Over 70 service men and women will march through the streets of Poole on Saturday 4 May as a Royal Navy Warship is granted the Freedom of Poole.

The entire Ships Company of HMS Cattistock, led by The Band of His Majesty’s Royal Marines Plymouth, will parade from The Quay in celebration of the ship being awarded the Freedom of Poole, the highest honour a city or town can bestow on the Royal Navy or one of His Majesty’s Ships.

Drums will be beating, bayonets fixed and colours flying!

Local sea cadet, veteran and naval associations will be taking part in the event as the town of Poole gives this Hunt Class Minehunter a very warm welcome over the bank holiday weekend.

HMS Cattistock is affiliated to the town of Poole and the village of Cattistock near Dorchester.

The ship will be docked alongside Poole Quay by the Sea Music Sculpture and from 2pm on Saturday 4 May, The Mayor of Poole, Cllr Jo Clements, will present the HMS Cattistock Casket Party with the Freedom Scroll.

Following this short presentation ceremony the entire ships company, led by the Royal Marine’s band will march a circular through the town, parading along The Quay past HMS Cattistock, up the High Street as far Lagland Street and back to the departure point.

Lieutenant Commander Jonny Campbell, Commanding Officer of HMS Cattistock, said: “The affiliation between HMS Cattistock and the people of Poole and village of Cattistock is long established and remains an important link.”

“In 1944 an earlier Ship of the same name protected minesweepers in the days and hours before D-Day at Normandy, and now it is us who hunt and clear mines to protect our country. We have always been warmly welcomed by Poole and hugely enjoy visiting to see our friends including cadets, schools and the maritime community.

“I am really pleased that the Ship can visit again and maintain the link between the British people and the Royal Navy. We cannot wait to return to our favourite port.”

The Mayor of Poole, Cllr Jo Clements said: “The Royal Navy has always had a proud history of service in Poole and in 2010 the former Borough of Poole adopted HMS Cattistock as their Ship and have enjoyed a close working relationship over the last decade.

“The officers and crew have regularly supported Poole’s Annual Service of Remembrance as well as forging strong links with the town’s uniformed youth and veteran groups.

“When operationally possible the ship’s company have also hosted visits from the Poole Sea Cadets, the RNLI Lifeboat volunteers and local veteran associations, demonstrating their commitment to fully engage with the community and residents of Poole.

“I am delighted that on Saturday 4 May 2024 the Poole Charter Trustees will be formally admitting the Officers and Crew of HMS Cattistock the Freedom of the Town of Poole, the first ship to be granted this honour.”