HMS Raleigh given freedom of the town
The streets of Torpoint, South East Cornwall, were lined with supporters and well-wishers of HMS Raleigh as sailors from the base exercised their freedom of the town.
Around 350 officers, sailors and new recruits took part in Sunday's parade led by the Lympstone Band of Her Majesty's Royal Marines.
The guard of honour was formed by trainees in the penultimate week of their ten-week initial naval training course. The parade marched through the town to the ferry lanes where the Mayor of Torpoint, Councillor Mike Pearn was invited to inspect the platoons. Addressing the parade, Coun Pearn said: "We are so lucky here in Torpoint to have Raleigh on our doorstep to provide us with employment.
"The trainees and staff also provide valuable help and assistance with community projects for which we are grateful. It is a very proud day today for us to have these young men and women exercising their rights to the Freedom of Torpoint, by marching through the town with swords drawn, bayonets fixed, drums beating, band playing and colours flying. You young men and women are a credit to HMS Raleigh, the Royal Navy and your country."
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Responding on behalf of HMS Raleigh the Commanding Officer, Captain Bob Fancy, said the relationship between the Royal Navy and Torpoint has been one of "mutual dependency for many centuries".
He added: "HMS Raleigh has served to strengthen this bond which has brought us here today. The honour which you are bestowing upon us dates back to Roman times and we are one of very few nations still practising this ancient custom which ensured the civic rights and security of a town's citizens even against the Sovereign's military power. Whilst it is now purely a ceremonial occasion it does underline the trust and respect between us, and I, as the Commanding Officer of HMS Raleigh, welcome it."