HMS Bristol’s White Ensign was lowered for the last time at a decommissioning ceremony in Portsmouth.
The Type 82 Destroyer was commissioned in March 1973.
According to a Royal Navy news release:
“Designed to defend a class of aircraft carriers which were never built, Bristol was the sole Type 82 destroyer delivered to the Royal Navy and, until now, its second oldest commissioned vessel thanks to a unique career. Bristol notably saw action in the Falklands during 1982. Initially leading a group of two destroyers, five frigates and one RFA supply ship arriving as reinforcements, the ship later joined the carrier battle task group to fulfil her primary role as an air-defence destroyer and then assumed flagship duties.”
Her final Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Commander David Price, said:
“We knew the day HMS Bristol decommissioned from the Fleet would come, so it is my privilege as her final Commanding Officer to lower the White Ensign for the last time on behalf of the thousands of sailors and cadets for whom this ship has been an invaluable training platform, and also for all those who served on board during her first commission.”
After nearly two decades at sea, Bristol was re-commissioned and converted to a harbour training ship in 1993, remaining alongside at Whale Island ever since.
During that time, the Royal Navy say that the ship has provided a training environment for a wide variety of trainees; it has not been unusual to find engineering technicians training in machinery spaces whilst military training personnel conduct armed searches and medical assistants exercise casualty evacuations nearby.