Freedom of Dartmouth Parade

  • Author: admin
  • Date: Friday 4th October 2013
Freedom of Dartmouth Parade Freedom of Dartmouth Parade

Royal Navy Officers, Staff and Cadets from Britannia Royal Naval College have marched through the streets of Dartmouth to exercise the right of freedom of entry for what is believed to be the first time in over 50 years.

With inclement weather threatening to dampen spirits, the rain stopped on cue and townsfolk lined the streets to watch the 100 strong parade, led by the Corps of Drums from the Band of Her Majesty's Royal Marines Commando Training Centre Royal Marines.

Capt Jerry Kyd, the Commanding Officer BRNC said: "We're really proud and privileged to be a constant part of the fabric of Dartmouth.  A lot of people from the town are employed in the College and the Cadets regularly come down here. We're part of the town and the town is part of us.  We are all one team here.  We're very proud to be marching through the town today as a symbol of our close relationship with the people of Dartmouth."

Having left the College at 3pm, the parade made its way along the embankment to the Guildhall where the Mayor of Dartmouth, Councillor Paul Allen, was invited to inspect the Guard of Honour. Following addresses from the Mayor and Captain Kyd, and prayers, the parade made its way back through the streets with 'swords drawn, bayonets fixed, drums beating, bands playing and Colours flying'.  The Mayor and Capt Kyd took the salute as the parade marched pass at Royal Avenue Gardens.

The right of Freedom to the Borough of Clifton, Dartmouth and Hardness was bestowed on BRNC in 1955, marking the 50th anniversary of the opening of the College in 1905.  The College first exercised the right to march on a snowy day in February 1956 and this year's parade was held to mark the 150th anniversary of Naval Officer training on the River Dart.

Cllr Allen said: "Dartmouth has an enviable tradition of association with the Royal Navy, and especially with the 150th anniversary, being so splendidly celebrated by exercising their right of entry into the town.  Not only do the town and its' inhabits value the role of tradition, but more importantly, are conscious of the present, sometimes, day to day, service and involvement from Officers, Staff and Cadets who contribute to our vibrant community."

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