Home Community HMS Dragon “Bonded” to City of Wrexham

HMS Dragon “Bonded” to City of Wrexham

by Love Wrexham Magazine

For the first time since the Second World War, a Royal Navy warship will be affiliated with Wrexham.

Welsh Dragons

Instantly recognisable by the roaring Welsh Dragons emblazoned across her bows. HMS Dragon became the fourth warship to be bonded to the city in a ceremony at her home port of Portsmouth. Officials gathered next to HMS Dragon – an advanced Type 45 air defence destroyer – to pass the affiliation officially from Cardiff to Wrexham.

The ship’s Commanding Officer, Commander Iain Giffin, said: “HMS Dragon has enjoyed a proud and strong affiliation with Cardiff for over 12 years. We want to extend our thanks and gratitude to the city’s officials and residents for their hospitality and friendship. He continued: “HMS Dragon is proud to continue the fine traditions of our Welsh heritage and to establish a new 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.” HMS Dragon also appeared in the 2021 Bond film No Time To Die, when she used her missiles to destroy a rival vessel. Although she seemed to take out 007 while doing it!

Warship Weeks

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, Flower-class corvette HMS Begonia – sold in 1946, and also HMS Anemone – sold in 1949.

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.

HMS_Dragon - image courtesy of Andrew Thomas
HMS_Dragon – image courtesy of Andrew Thomas

A Huge Honour

Cllr Parry-Jones said: “Wrexham has a long and proud affiliation with the armed forces. 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. It will be an 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 is currently undergoing the final phases of her refit in Portsmouth. This includes upgrades to her engines, sensors and also weapon systems. Trials are set to follow in the dockyard before she conducts extensive sea trials along the south coast to test her combat systems and power performances.

Attendees included Sarah Atherton and ex-Mayor Andy Williams
Attendees included Sarah Atherton and ex-Mayor Andy Williams

Photos courtesy of Royal Navy.

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