A Gala Celebration of the Welcome Home Naval Families Project

On Tuesday 18th February 2014, the Museum hosted a very special screening of a film and unveiling of a banner made by the families of the serving personnel on the recently returned HMS Dragon.

The event was attended by the ships company, their families and the Second Sea Lord.

The families from the ship were interviewed by Harvest Productions in their homes over the period of their loved ones’ deployment. This unique film illustrates how families cope with separation over the weeks and months of a Naval tour of duty.

HMS Dragon families volunteered to take part and their interviews and experiences will be shown in this special preview screening.

For Henry Gunner it was the first time his wife had been away and the first time the youngest Alfie had not been with her. For other families such as the Golightly Family it is part of normal life. Father, Mike Baldwin has himself served at sea, so seeing his son Sean being deployed was a familiar experience.

The finished film is due to become part of a special exhibition about the serving Navy in the new HMS - Hear My Story Galleries, opening on April 3rd 2014.

Alongside the film the families worked with the artist Caroline O’Brien over two days in the summer, to create a ‘Welcome Home’ banner. The design reflected the cheers from the crowds when a ship arrives, The Welsh Dragon emblem, and remembrance poppies. The banner was then held out to welcome home HMS Dragon on 22nd November 2013. After the event, the banner will be displayed alongside the film in the new HMS – Hear My Story Galleries.

HMS Hermes returning from the Falklands