Doncaster sailor’s surprise marriage proposal to heavily pregnant girlfriend after ship’s homecoming

Joshua proposed to Hazel on his return to the UK. (Photo: PA/Andrew Milligan).
Joshua proposed to Hazel on his return to the UK. (Photo: PA/Andrew Milligan).

A Doncaster Royal Navy surprised his heavily pregnant girlfriend with a marriage proposal on the dockside as he returned home after eight months in the Gulf.

Hazel Staunton was waiting for Joshua Bertman as he arrived at HM Naval Base Clyde in Argyll and Bute at the end of his deployment.

Joshua surprised Hazel with his dockside marriage proposal. (Photo: PA/Andrew Milligan).

Joshua surprised Hazel with his dockside marriage proposal. (Photo: PA/Andrew Milligan).

The couple of four years are expecting a baby girl in three weeks, who will be named India.

But the able seaman caught his long-term partner off-guard when he was the first person off HMS Bangor and got down on one knee.

Mr Bertman, 22, said: “I’ve missed all of (the pregnancy), so I’ve come back and she’s like this.

“(I decided to propose) about two months in. I wanted to do it, so I thought I’d just do it – it’s a good time to do it when in sunny Scotland.

The couple share a kiss after Joshua's arrival back in Scotland. (Photo: PA/Andrew Milligan).

The couple share a kiss after Joshua's arrival back in Scotland. (Photo: PA/Andrew Milligan).

“I’m going to spend a lot of time with the dog, until the baby comes, then I’m going to spend a lot of time with the baby and then fit (Hazel) in when I can.”

Ms Staunton jokingly added: “And go to Nando’s.”

The 21-year-old mother-to-be also said: “I just couldn’t believe it, I was just so happy – it didn’t feel real.”

For the past three years HMS Bangor has been in the Gulf as part of efforts to protect shipping lanes.