AN OLD Kilpatrick mum had the shock of her life when her Royal Navy boyfriend returned home from six months at sea last week – when he proposed to her before the ship had even docked.

Laura Campbell, 32, was stunned when partner Mark Titman's shipmates unveiled a giant 'Will You Marry Me?' banner as HMS Penzance approached her berth at Faslane on Friday.

Delighted Laura, watching from the dockside with the couple's baby daughter Ava, nodded her acceptance as Mark, a Petty Officer (Mine Warfare) on board the ship, got down on one knee on deck – with thrilled family watching on in the wings.

An emotional family reunion followed - with Laura's ten-year-old daughter Caitlin fighting back tears - as Mark, 34, was first down the gangway bearing a beautiful engagement ring and a huge bouquet of flowers.

As he stepped ashore the Royal Armoured Corps Band, providing music for the homecoming, struck up a version of the Bruno Mars hit 'Marry You' to add to the occasion.

Asked to describe her feelings when she realised the giant banner was aimed at her, Laura said: “Mad. Amazing. Brilliant. I'm still in shock, to be quite honest.

“Mark did say it would be a day I'd never forget. I just thought he meant because of the big celebrations at him coming home.

“Mark coming home is all I've been thinking about, but I didn't for a second think he would ask him to marry me.”

Mark, from Sheffield, who has been at sea since February, bought the stunning ring in Dubai while the ship was on patrol in the Persian Gulf.

He confided in his mum and in Laura's sister, and managed to persuade his shipmates to help him with his unusual idea for a proposal.

He said: “I'd been thinking about it for a couple of weeks before I bought the ring. It was a pretty nerve-racking wait - but the last bit of the voyage home was the worst!”

Mark, who has two other children aged 10 and seven, was happy to be reunited with Ava, who was just four weeks old when he and the rest of the crew were deployed to the Gulf in January.

Families and friends were waiting on the quayside to greet the crew as the ship returned from its three-year deployment in the Gulf, having left Faslane in June 2014.

HMS Penzance is a Sandown class mine countermeasures vessel (MCMV), one of seven such ships operated by the Faslane-based First Mine Counter Measures crew.

In January this year she was one of five Royal Navy vessels which joined forces with the United States Mine Hunting vessels and aircraft to take part in a major exercise in the Arabian Gulf, testing their prowess in locating underwater explosives.

The ship's commanding officer, Lieutenant Commander Jim Lovell, said: “It's a long way home from the Gulf but I couldn't be more proud of my ship's company in achieving everything that's been asked of them.”