Submariners exercise freedom of Bury St Edmunds

Around 100 Royal Navy Submariners from HMS Vengeance exercised their freedom of Bury St Edmunds on Sunday, October 22, by parading through the Suffolk market town.

HMS Vengeance was presented with the Freedom of the Borough in June this year when outgoing Mayor of St Edmundsbury, Councillor Julia Wakelam, bestowed the honour. 

The Vengeance Submariners travelled from their home port of HM Naval Base Clyde on the West Coast of Scotland, gathering at the town’s Abbey Gardens on the Sunday afternoon to exercise their freedom.

Bury locals lined the streets to cheer along the parade as it made its way from the Abbeygate Street to Charter Square.  On hand was Mayor of the town Councillor Terry Clements who inspected the troops before they continued their march to Angel Hill.

The people of Bury St Edmunds are known for their warmth and hospitality and members of the ship's company have been fortunate enough to experience this on numerous occasions over the years.

Commander Neil Lamont

The Commanding Officer of HMS Vengeance said: “It was a tremendous honour for the ship’s company to exercise the freedom of Bury St Edmunds.

"This is the highlight of a 17-year affiliation between the town, HMS Vengeance and the town’s Sea Cadet Unit.

"The people of Bury St Edmunds are known for their warmth and hospitality and members of the ship's company have been fortunate enough to experience this on numerous occasions over the years.

"However, today’s reception was particularly fantastic and we were delighted to see so many take the time to gather and applaud the Submariners as they marched past."

HMS Vengeance is one of four Royal Navy strategic missile submarines which together maintain the country’s Continuous at Sea Deterrent.

The Royal Navy Submariners who sail the vessel are some of the most highly trained personnel in the military, undergoing the challenging Submarine Qualifying Course where they need to demonstrate intimate knowledge of over 30 technical systems on board the sophisticated nuclear submarines.

Successful trainees are then presented with their dolphin badge – the unique symbol of the Silent Service – joining an elite group of personnel who have helped protect the country since 1901 and the launch of the UK’s first submarine.

HMS Vengeance is one of just 14 people and institutions awarded the borough’s highest civic honour since 1974.