A young cancer survivor from Doncaster has returned from his first deployment with the Royal Navy.
Jonathan Boswell, who previously suffered from leukaemia, was among those on board HMS Northumberland, which returned to the country yesterday after a successful patrol policing international shipping lanes in the Middle East.
Jonathan, 20, was welcomed back into the country by his Doncaster family.
They included his girlfriend Debra, mother and father Pauline and Malcolm and his brother and sister Daniel, 13, and Olivier, nine.
Jonathan, an able seaman warfare specialist on board, said: “It’s fantastic to be home to see my family. It’s been a long deployment, but also exciting. This is my first deployment after passing into the Navy at HMS Raleigh in January. The trip has been everything I hoped for when I joined the Navy.”
Jonathan’s mother said: “We’re all so pleased to see him and to know it all went well for him. He’s been through a lot as a youngster to be in the Navy – it’s all he wanted to do. At first he could not join the Navy because of his past medical history when he suffered from leukaemia. But he and we persevered with medical reports and he was accepted. This trip is a vindication of us and the Navy.”
More than 500 cheering friends and family members lined the jetty yesterday to welcome HMS Northumberland back to Devonport Naval Base, which marked the end of the seven-month long patrol in the Arabian Gulf and Indian Ocean.
Commander Tristram Kirkwood, captain of HMS Northumberland said: “I am immensely proud of my sailors. They have come together as a ship’s company magnificently, both during our demanding pre-deployment training and on operations to perform a multitude of diverse and challenging tasking. They have been a credit to HMS Northumberland, the Royal Navy and the UK amongst our coalition and regional partners and should feel justifiably proud of their achievements.”