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Pride of country as soldiers handed freedom of Chichester march through town
Hundreds lined the streets as troops stationed at the same barracks as murdered soldier Fusilier Lee Rigby marched through a Sussex city.
Members of the Second Battalion of the Princess of Wales' Royal Regiment (PWRR) were given the freedom of Chichester yesterday.
Soldiers wearing beaver hats perspired under the glare of the 28C sun but proudly marched as crowds applauded them along the way.
The parade set off at 11am from the fire station at Northgate and halted for short speeches at Council House.
Troops then moved off towards the Cross, East Street, St Pancras, New Park Road before dispersing in New Park recreation ground.
The military band caused plenty of smiles when they played a surprise rendition of James Bond theme Skyfall, originally sung by Hove singer Adele.
But one of the biggest cheers of the day was reserved for the band's version of 1907 county anthem Sussex by the Sea.
Mayor of Chichester Alan Chaplin said: “It was a great honour to welcome the troops here and they were very pleased to be in this historic city and appreciated the warm welcome. The pavements and streets were lined with people.
“There's a long association between the regiment and Sussex and the Brigadier told me how they appreciated the support of Chichester residents.”
In 1993, PWRR succeeded the Queen's Regiment, which in turn was formed from the Royal Sussex Regiment in the reorganisation of the British Army.
Brigadier Richard Dennis OBE, Colonel of the Regiment, paid tribute to Lee Rigby who was killed outside his barracks in Woolwich earlier this year.
He said: “The Princess of Wales' Royal Regiment is extremely proud to parade through the towns and cities we call home.
“We are an integral part of these communities and these parades are symbolic both of our gratitude for the tremendous support we receive and our ongoing commitment to this longstanding relationship.”
Freelance photographer Ella Bernhardt, 22, of Hove, said: “It was beautiful sight to see and wonderful to welcome the troops. It made me feel very proud to be British.
“I was saying what a sacrifice it is to go off and fight and I was also thinking of all the worried mothers waiting at home.
“All in all it was a lovely day. They all looked very happy to be wearing their uniforms, if a little hot.”
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