A very special guest looked on yesterday as soldiers from the Royal Corps of Signals exercised their right to march through Richmond as freemen of the town for the first time in 50 years.
On a bright, sunny day, the Princess Royal, dressed in a turquoise coat, took the salute as 250 soldiers streamed past while invited guests, families and members of the public gathered to show their appreciation for their service.
Major Jim Stillie, parade commander and second-in-command of 2nd Signal Regiment, led the troops as they exercised their right to march through Richmond with weapons, fixed bayonets and band playing.
“Today has been to celebrate fifty years of the Royal Corps of Signals receiving the Freedom of Richmond,” said the Mayor of Richmond, Coun Clive World.
“Crowds of people from the town and surrounding area have turned out today to show their appreciation of the work that the signallers do.
“It has been good to meet some of the soldiers and know that their families are here as well.”
Soldiers from 2nd Signal Regiment and 21 Signal Regiment, both based in Imphal Barracks, York, 22 Signal Regiment based in Stafford and 30 Signal Regiment from Nuneaton accompanied by members of the Royal Signals Association took part.
The Princess Royal, their Colonel in Chief, presented six soldiers with medals for operational and campaign service.
At a reception afterwards, a Royal Corps of Signals’ 50 Years Service badge was presented to Bob White, who recently retired as Mayor of Richmond.
“Today has been absolutely fantastic,” said Lt Col Ian Hargreaves, the CO of 2nd Signal.