Video: The Rifles Freedom Parade in Leeds

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Crowds gathered in the streets around Leeds centre today to cheer on The Rifles Regiment as they exercised their right to the freedom of the city.

The Rifles, past, present and future, marched to a ceremony at Millennium Square before a parade through the city. Reserve battalion the 8 Rifles were joined by 2 Rifles, cadets and veterans, and accompanied by the Band and Bugles.

The regiment on parade in Millennium Square'Picture by Gerard Binks Photography

The regiment on parade in Millennium Square'Picture by Gerard Binks Photography

Troops marched into Millennium Square for a Civic Welcome with the Lord Mayor, Coun Graham Latty, and inspection of the parade by the Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire, Ed Anderson.

They then marched through city centre streets including Briggate and the Headrow before returning for the formal salute, music and marching display by the Band and Bugles.

The Lord Mayor of Leeds, Coun Graham Latty, said the support given to serving personnel and veterans was "absolutely tremendous", and it was a proud honour to welcome them.

Crowds lined the borders of Millennium Square to watch the parade, including many family members of those from across Yorkshire who were taking part.

Sue Huscroft, from Gomersall, had brought friend Lynn Pickles to watch her nephew, Cpl David Warrillaw, who had served tours in Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan before joining The Rifles as a reservist.

"It was lovely to see him marching in uniform," she said. "The last time I think was probably at his passing out parade. They all look so smart. It's been an absolutely brilliant day."

And SSAFA members John Turley and John Sigsworth, from Leeds and Tingley, said it was important to give thanks and honour those who were taking part.

"We have a proud history in Yorkshire," said Mr Turley. "And it was marvellous to see them marching."

Mr Sigsworth, whose two sons had served in Iraq, said events like this were important as they were a recognition of the efforts given in conflict.

"It's all about tradition," he added. "If we don't keep these traditions going, our young people won't understand what has been sacrificed before, and honour those who have put their lives on the line for our country."