Royal Navy reservists celebrate being handed the Freedom of Swansea
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Royal Navy reservists celebrated being handed the Freedom of Swansea by marching on the city on Saturday.
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People were urged to take to the streets after sailors from HMS Cambria, the South Wales Royal Naval Reserve Unit, were handed the honour that brought a splash of colour to the event.
The impressive military spectacle will include drums beating, the Royal Navy White Ensign flying, swords drawn and bayonets fixed. Members of the HMS Cambria and Tawe Division, which is a Tender Unit to HMS Cambria and based in Swansea, took part in the event. Sailors will be bearing arms on the parade through the city centre and there will be a formal ceremonial presentation of the official Freedom scroll by the Lord Mayor
The parade formed up outside the Guildhall and made its way along St Helen’s Road, West Way, Oxford Street and Princess Way and then onto the National Waterfront Museum.
The Royal Marines Band Portsmouth will be leading the procession followed by the Parade Commander, Colour Party, Casket Party, the Guard of Honour and HMS Cambria ship’s company along with other units.
Commander Steve Fry, who was born and bred in Swansea and is the commanding officer (CO) of HMS Cambria, said: “We would really like to encourage members of the public to come down and say hello and show their support to the unit as we march through the city.
“The Royal Naval Reserve has had a presence in Swansea for more than 70 years and the Royal Navy has always recruited strongly from Swansea, with one third of the current ship’s company from the City. HMS Cambria is deeply honoured to receive this significant recognition of our strong links with the City and County of Swansea.
“Many of us on parade live and work in the city and are very grateful for the honour that has been afforded to us today. We look forward to an ongoing relationship with this city and its residents.”
Meanwhile, Mr Downing said sailors played a key role and deserved to be recognised “Reservists play an increasingly vital role in the Royal Navy, often taking part in operations around the world,” he added.
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