Sarah West

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For the Prisoner character, see Prisoner characters – inmates#Sarah West.
For actress, see Sarah West (actress).
Sarah West
Born 1972
Grimsby, Lincolnshire, England
Allegiance United Kingdom United Kingdom
Service/branch Royal Navy
Years of service 1995 – present
Rank Commander

Commander Sarah West (born 1972) is a British Royal Navy officer, notable as the first woman to be appointed to command a major warship in the Royal Navy.

She was born in Lincolnshire and studied mathematics at the University of Hertfordshire before entering Britannia Royal Naval College in 1995. She joined the Royal Navy as a warfare officer. She also took a law degree whilst on active service in the Middle East and is an expert in large-scale naval planning, mine clearance, weapons-systems and underwater warfare. She was trained on HMS Battleaxe and later commanded four small ships, including the minesweeper HMS Shoreham. She has also worked on the co-ordination and logistics of the evacuation of UK citizens during the 2006 Lebanon War, naval operations at the time of the 2008 Kosovo declaration of independence and the British naval contribution to the Iraq War. She was promoted to Commander at the end of 2011.

In May 2012 West assumed command of HMS Portland a Type 23 frigate.[1][2]


  1. ^ "First woman to command Royal Navy frigate takes helm". 22 May 2012. The Guardian
  2. ^ "First woman to command a major Navy warship takes up post" (Press release). Ministry of Defence(UK). 22 May 2012. Retrieved 30 May 2012. 

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