Soldiers from the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment marched through Lancaster city centre on Monday as they exercised their right as freemen of the city.
More than 100 personnel from The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment, which recruits from across the North West of England, marched between the city’s Priory Church and Dalton Square as thousands cheered them on in the glorious summer sunshine.
The Infantry battalion, also known as 2 LANCS, is based at Weeton Barracks near Blackpool. But during the last six months its soldiers have been deployed on operations in the Falkland Islands, Cyprus and most recently Iraq.
The day began with a service at the Priory Church, and was followed by a march through the streets with “flags flying, drums beating and bayonets fixed”.
Led by the band of the Royal Armoured Corps, the regiment marched through the streets and past Lancaster Town Hall, taking the salute from the mayor, Coun Roger Mace, before stopping in Dalton Square for inspection.
A soldier from Heysham was among those parading in Lancaster as he marked his unit’s return home from overseas duties.
Kingsman Daniel Campbell, 20, has been in the Army for just over three years. He serves with the 2nd Battalion The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment, which recruits from across the north west.
Earlier this summer Daniel, a former Heysham High School pupil, returned from Cyprus after a six-month tour of duty with the United Nations peacekeeping force in Nicosia, so he was excited to parade at home.
“It’s a really proud day for me,” he said. “This is my home city and so to be here doing this today is very important. My family are really proud too and the weather has been fantastic.
“Since I joined the Army I’ve worked in Latvia, the Falkland Islands, Kenya, Cyprus and all over the UK. I love going to new places and am hoping to go to Louisiana in America where we can train with the US Army.”
Captain Russ Pettit, the Officer Commanding Dettingen Company at 2 LANCS, added: “This is the first time within the last six months or so that everyone has been back together as a battalion, so for us to be able parade in Lancaster has been a real pleasure.”