NAVAL officers and cadets will march through Dartmouth on Saturday September 28 celebrating 150 years of naval training in the town.
Britannia Royal Naval College will mark being bestowed the Freedom of Dartmouth with the colourful event which will be led by the Band of Her Majesty's Royal Marines Commando Training Centre Royal Marines, and will also include a ceremonial guard of honour.
The parade will leave the College at 3pm and march along the embankment to the Guildhall on Victoria Road where the Mayor of Dartmouth, Cllr Paul Allen, will inspect the parade, accompanied by the Captain of BRNC, Captain Jerry Kyd.
Capt Kyd said: "Being awarded the Freedom of Entry is one of the highest honours a town can bestow upon a military unit. It dates back to medieval times when allowing an armed body of men to enter a town or city was a demonstration of trust. It seems fitting, therefore, that in the year that marks the 150th anniversary of the start of Naval training on the Dart, that we should be re-affirming the strong links between the College and the town in this way."
Among the organisers of the parade is Master-At-Arms Richard 'Ted' Heath who was educated and brought up in the Dartmouth area.
MAA Heath became the fifth member of his family to join the Royal Navy in 1986 following in the footsteps of his father a Dartmouthian, uncle, grandfather and great grandfather.
The 44-year-old said: "I am very proud to be part of the freedom parade. My family has been connected in one way or another to Dartmouth and the College for many years. It is always a pleasure to be part of any evolution that shows the local community the core values and standards of the Royal Navy. The experience however will be enhanced knowing the association that my family has with the town. This personally will be an emotional tribute to my grandfather and uncle who sadly passed away this year."
On completion of the inspection the march will resume through the town and back along the North Embankment.
Cllr Allen said: "Dartmouth has an enviable tradition of association with the Royal Navy, and especially with the 150th Celebration of Britannia Royal Naval College, being so splendidly celebrated by exercising their right of entry into the town. Not only do the town and its' inhabitants 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 the vibrant life of our community."
The right of Freedom to the borough of Clifton, Dartmouth and Hardness, was first bestowed on BRNC in 1955, marking the 50th anniversary of the opening of the College in 1905.