By the time you read this blog post the newest Royal Navy Reserve unit in the country will have completed her commissioning ceremony. HMS Ceres is the RNR unit for Yorkshire and Humberside and is based in Carlton Barracks Leeds. The unit started out as a satellite unit for firstly HMS Sherwood and then HMS Calliope, but numbers have grown to such an extent that it is now large enough to be commissioned as a ship in its own right:The unit is based in Carlton Barracks in Carr Lodge, the former base commander’s house. This building has recently undergone an extensive refurbishment to increase both its size and the facilities for training. Many original pieces of memorabilia from the unit’s forebears are displayed around the building including the bell from the old C-Class Cruiser of the same name and a pair of very impressive stained glass windows:The commissioning of a new ship or unit is always a great event and this was no exception, with the guest of honour being the Princess Royal who watched the formal commissioning ceremony with senior officers, ship’s company and invited guests. The ship provided a royal guard of 24 sailors as well as a colour party for the RNR standard. Following the ceremony the traditional commissioning cake was cut by the youngest member of the ship’s company:The cake has the ship’s crest, five heads of wheat and the motto ‘Tu Ne Cede malis’ which means Yield not Unto Evil:These represent the Roman Goddess Ceres, the deity representing harvest and fertility, after whom the ship is named.
I must confess a great deal of pride in today’s events as I have been a member of ship’s company since 2012 and my father was an officer at the unit’s predecessor in the 1980s. This is an event all the ship’s company have been striving towards for many years and today marks the culmination of much hard work. BZ