Video & Gallery: Crowds look on as soldiers granted freedom of the district
By Alistair Nelson CHEERING crowds lined the streets of Saffron Walden on Sunday as soldiers from the Carver Barracks were granted the freedom of the district. Led by the Band of the Corps of Royal Engineers, 120 troops marched from the Uttlesford Distric
By Alistair Nelson
CHEERING crowds lined the streets of Saffron Walden on Sunday as soldiers from the Carver Barracks were granted the freedom of the district.
Led by the Band of the Corps of Royal Engineers, 120 troops marched from the Uttlesford District Council (UDC) offices in London Road to the Market Square with bayonets fixed and colours flying.
Almost 1000 people turned out to wave flags and applaud the soldiers from 33 Royal Engineers EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) as they headed into the town.
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Commanding Officer Lt Col David Southall said: "It is a huge honour to be able to accept the Honorary Freedom on behalf of the regiment. It is also our way of showing our thanks to the people of our community for the support they have given to the regiment since we moved here in 1993."
Chairman of UDC Cllr Alastair Walters inspected the troops alongside Major General Mark Mans CBE. The regiment then exercised their new right for the first time by marching through the town centre to the Common for a civic reception.
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Among the 120-strong contingent on parade were 60 soldiers from 17 Field Squadron (EOD) who have recently returned from Afghanistan.
Cllr Walters said: "It is a great privilege for me to bestow upon the 33 Engineer Regiment the Honorary Freedom of the District of Uttlesford. We are very proud indeed of our regiment and the wonderful job they are all doing under extremely difficult and dangerous conditions.