Wakefield: Parade on the streets as soldiers honoured

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A proud parade of soldiers marched through the streets of Wakefield, exercising their freedom of the city.

Soldiers from 3 Battalion The Wellingtons, whose Yorkshire Regiment was granted the Freedom of the City of Wakefield in 2010 were watched by local residents as they paraded in glorious sunshine.

The Regiment has the freedom of eight cities in Yorkshire and around 170 serving military set off from Wakefield’s TA Centre on George Street, yesterday afternoon.

They arrived at the Wakefield Cathedral West Door where they were greeted by the Mayor of Wakefield, Coun Brian Holmes, and other guests.

A welcome speech by Coun Holmes was followed by an inspection of the troops and a rousing Victory Beating by drummers.

The parade then set off down Kirkgate, back up the Springs and Westmoreland Street, left at the fountain, into Little Westgate and back to the TA Centre

A number of roads were closed to accommodate the march and some bus routes were disrupted.

Coun Peter Box, leader of Wakefield Council, said: “It is a great honour to welcome the Yorkshire Regiment 3 Battalion The Wellingtons to Wakefield where they have the honour of the Freedom of the City.

“The parade gives us the opportunity to celebrate with them the job being done by British servicemen and women all over the world who are serving on behalf of their country, some sadly paying the ultimate price. This occasion is also a time to remember those who have died or have been injured in the line of duty.”

Mayor of Wakefield, Coun Brian Holmes added: “Ceremonial parades such as these are symbolic and significant public events and we hope as many people as possible will line the streets to show the troops how much they are appreciated and to give them a warm Wakefield welcome.”

A huge event was held at Nostell Priory on June 29 in honour of Armed Forces Day.

Last month, soldiers from The Rifles regiment were cheered through the streets of Leeds as they exercised their own freedom of the city. The 300-strong band of Riflemen was then greeted by the Lord Mayor of Leeds, councillor Tom Murray, ahead of a civic reception.

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