East Antrim Reservists on duty at HMS Caroline ceremony

The Band of Her Majesty's Royal Marines Portsmouth at Titanic Quarter.
The Band of Her Majesty's Royal Marines Portsmouth at Titanic Quarter.

The historic HMS Caroline in Belfast’s Titanic Quarter hosted a ceremonial Beating Retreat by the Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines Portsmouth.

Defence Relationship Management, which manages the interface between national employers and the Ministry of Defence, invited representatives of influential public and private sector organisations to a reception on board HMS Caroline beforehand.

Ian and Cathy Forsyth from Ballycarry with (left) Athene Gordon, regional employer engagement director of Defence Relationship Management in Northern Ireland.

Ian and Cathy Forsyth from Ballycarry with (left) Athene Gordon, regional employer engagement director of Defence Relationship Management in Northern Ireland.

On duty at the occasion were Royal Naval Reservists from HMS Hibernia,including a number from East Antrim.

Guests witnessed a ceremony dating back to the sixteenth century when it was used to recall patrolling units to the castle they were defending. The honour of lowering the flag at sunset went to members of The Royal Naval Reserve, HMS Hibernia.

Northern Ireland’s Royal Naval Reservists have long enjoyed close associations with HMS Caroline.

Having seen service in both World Wars, this celebrated ship was for a time the static headquarters and training ship for the Royal Naval Reserve based at Alexandra Dock in Belfast.

George Chesney (centre), chairman of the Reserve Forces & Cadets Association Northern Ireland, with Glengormley couple, Donna and Cormac Gallagher.

George Chesney (centre), chairman of the Reserve Forces & Cadets Association Northern Ireland, with Glengormley couple, Donna and Cormac Gallagher.

The now decommissioned light cruiser, the last survivor of the Battle of Jutland, has been fully restored and is enjoying a new lease of life as a jewel in the crown of the National Museum of the Royal Navy and an important visitor attraction for Belfast.

Athene Gordon, regional employer engagement director of Defence Relationship Management in Northern Ireland, said: “The atmospheric Beating Retreat and Ceremonial Sunset at HMS Caroline provided us with a wonderful demonstration of the professionalism of our Reserve Forces, as well as illustrating how the Reserve and Regular Forces work seamlessly together.

“It was a pleasure to welcome so many guests on board and to take this opportunity publicly to employers for the important ongoing support they give to Reservists.

“We continue to work with employers to develop mutually beneficial partnerships and occasion such as this, while enjoyable in themselves, provide valuable platforms for exchanges of views.”

Petty Officer Niall Robinson from Newtownabbey.

Petty Officer Niall Robinson from Newtownabbey.

Able Seaman Abigail Coyle from Ballynure.

Able Seaman Abigail Coyle from Ballynure.