Stourbridge sailor sends a festive message home to her family

Stourbridge News: Natalie with a picture of baby Poppy. Natalie with a picture of baby Poppy.

A STOURBRIDGE sailor, who missed the birth of her niece, has sent a special Christmas message home to her family.

Able Seaman (Writer) Natalie Parkes was joined by her colleagues onboard HMS Montrose to spell out a festive message for baby Poppy, who was born on October 20.

She will be unable to visit her family this Christmas as she will be serving onboard Plymouth based type 23 frigate HMS Montrose.

The 25-year-old, who attended King Edwards VI College, Stourbridge, departed on her deployment two months before Poppy was born.

On the day of her niece's birth, she was on duty as the ship’s operational narrative while they guided HMS Illustrious through the extremely busy Strait of Hormuz.

As a result she was only able to manage a brief phone call home but during that call she heard three words: “Girl, Poppy, perfect.”

Natalie has received an emailed photo of her niece every day since her birth, so she can watch her grow.

Butt will be early next year before Poppy finally gets to meet her aunt.

In a special message to her family, Natalie said: “I always knew being away at Christmas would be a testing time, but the constant support from home and the knowledge that you’re a part of something important makes it all worthwhile. I want to wish everyone in my family a Merry Christmas, especially Poppy who I cannot wait to get home and meet in person.”

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