Royal Navy Reserves proud to march through Swansea City

HMS Cambria, the South Wales Royal Naval Reserve Unit, will receive the Freedom of the City and County of Swansea on Saturday 17th March.

Royal Navy Reserves proud to march through Swansea CityRoyal Navy Reserves proud to march through Swansea CitySailors from HMS Cambria and Tawe Division, which is a Tender Unit to HMS Cambria and located in Swansea, will have the Freedom of Entry conferred on them by Swansea City Council - this means that the Unit are given the right to march through the City bearing arms. 

A formal ceremonial presentation of the official Freedom scroll by the Lord Mayor to the Commanding Officer of HMS Cambria will take place in the Guildhall, followed by an inspection and a parade.

The parade will form up outside the Guildhall and once the ceremony has concluded the Commanding Officer (CO) of HMS Cambria, Commander Steve Fry, will escort the Lord Mayor as he inspects the Guard. 

The Lord Mayor will read the resolution before presenting the scroll to the CO. The Guard and ship's company will then exercise the right to march through the streets of the City.

The Parade will march to the National Waterfront Museum, about a mile away, and the Royal Navy would love to see people lining the streets encouraging our lads and lasses on.

HMS Cambria is deeply honoured to receive this significant recognition of our strong links with the City and County of Swansea. Many of us on parade live and work in the city and are very grateful for the honour that has been afforded to us today.

Commander Steve Fry, Commanding Officer of HMS Cambria (and born and bred Swansea)

The Guard will form up at 10.30am ready for the Lord Mayor's inspection. They will set off at 11.30am from the Guildhall for the march through the City.

The Royal Marines Band Portsmouth will be leading, followed by the Parade Commander, Colour Party, Casket Party, the Guard of Honour and HMS Cambria ship's company and other units.

Commander Steve Fry who was born and bred in Swansea said: "We would really like to encourage members of the public to come down and say hello and show their support to the Unit as we march through the City. The Royal Naval Reserve has had a presence in Swansea for more than 70 years and the Royal Navy has always recruited strongly from Swansea, with one third of the current ship's company from the City.

“HMS Cambria is deeply honoured to receive this significant recognition of our strong links with the City and County of Swansea. Many of us on parade live and work in the city and are very grateful for the honour that has been afforded to us today. We look forward to an ongoing relationship with this City and its residents."

Lord Mayor of the City and County of Swansea, Cllr Philip Downing said: "Reservists play an increasingly vital role in the Royal Navy, often taking part in operations around the world. Not only do they potentially put their lives at risk, but they also play an important part in promoting a greater understanding of the Royal Navy and its work.

"Here in Swansea, we're enormously proud of our serving and former Armed Forces men and women. Granting Honorary Freedom of the City and County of Swansea to HMS Cambria will further show how much the council and communities across the city appreciate everything our Armed Forces do to protect the freedom and democracy that we cherish."

The Freedom ceremony will be staged at a ceremonial full meeting of Swansea Council in the Guildhall Chamber at 10.30am. The inspection is at 11am followed by the march to the National Waterfront Museum via St Helen's Road, West Way, Oxford Street and Princess Way led by the Royal Marines Band Portsmouth.

The march will be an impressive and colourful military spectacle with drums beating, Royal Navy White Ensign flying, swords drawn and bayonets fixed.

HMS Cambria will provide the guard of honour for the freedom scroll which will be carried in a special casket, joining them on the march will be all their colleagues, the Royal Marines Reserves (RMR) Cardiff Detachment, Swansea Sea Cadets from TS Ajax and Wales University Royal Naval Unit (URNU) which is affiliated with HMS Express, along with veterans and affiliates.

HMS Cambria is formed from men and women living and working across South Wales. Most have civilian jobs and some are ex regular servicemen and women.  Members have seen active service when mobilised in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Arabian Gulf and in support of anti-piracy operations in the Middle East.

HMS Cambria was originally based in Cardiff Docks and then moved to Sully, Vale of Glamorgan which the unit shares with Wales URNU.

In the future an £11m bespoke building will house HMS Cambria when the unit moves back to Cardiff Bay in a modern training environment to be shared with the URNU and RMR, and will continue to have a presence in Swansea at Tawe Division, and John Chard VC House in Richardson Street.