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The Princess Royal Takes Salute as Corps exercises Freedom of Winchester

500 personnel from across the Royal Logistic Corps (RLC) marched through Winchester today (Thursday 1st June) having recently been granted the freedom of the city.

HRH The Princess Royal, their Colonel-in-Chief, took the salute at the Guildhall before attending a service of Thanksgiving at Winchester Cathedral to formally recognise the relocation of the Corps to their new home at Worthy Down.

The Freedom of Entry to the City of Winchester is a rare and special privilege and, as the Mayor of Winchester it is my great honour to have bestowed this gift upon the Royal Logistic Corps, signifying the trust we rightly place in them Mayor of Winchester, Councillor Angela Clear

Mayor of Winchester, Councillor Angela Clear said:

“The Freedom of Entry to the City of Winchester is a rare and special privilege and, as the Mayor of Winchester it is my great honour to have bestowed this gift upon the Royal Logistic Corps, signifying the trust we rightly place in them.”

She adds:

“To see over 500 members of The Royal Logistic Corps march through the city to the beat of drums, with swords drawn, and bayonets fixed, is a moment of utmost pride for Winchester and a poignant reminder of the dedication and diligent service that the men and women of the Corps give to this country. It has been a truly memorable day.”

Large crowds gathered as the Band of the Brigade of Gurkhas, the RLC Corps of Drums including drummers from 157 Regiment and Pipes and Drums from 152 Regiment RLC led the parade down the High Street negotiating the narrow-cobbled walkways before lining up outside the city’s guildhall in the shadow of King Alfred’s statue.

This auspicious occasion also coincides with the 30th anniversary of the Corps, having been formed in 1993 from the amalgamation of the Royal Corps of Transport, the Royal Army Ordnance Corps, the Royal Pioneer Corps, the Army Catering Corps and the Postal and Courier Branch of the Royal Engineers.

Colonel Patrick Allen ADC, Regimental Colonel Royal Logistic Corps:

“I am extremely proud to serve within such a professional organisation who have enabled every military operation since our formation. Today symbolises 30 years of the Corps and its many achievements within the profession of logistics. More importantly, today cements the Corps relationship in the new Regimental home in the City of Winchester.”

Today symbolises 30 years of the Corps and its many achievements within the profession of logistics. More importantly, today cements the Corps relationship in the new Regimental home in the City of Winchester Colonel Patrick Allen ADC, Royal Logistic Corps

The Royal Logistic Corps sustains Army and wider Defence activity, at home and overseas, as a core component of a global, integrated logistic enterprise.

Today’s parade was a first for Second Lieutenant Connie O’Grady (26) from Bracknell, Berkshire. The Troop Commander from 27 Regiment RLC based in Aldershot, joined the regiment just six weeks ago:

“It has been a fantastic experience and an absolute honour to be part of this fabulous occasion.”

She adds:

“The fact that Winchester is such a historical City means a lot to the Corps and to be welcomed into the local area is a real privilege.”

The tradition of the Freedom of a Town or City dates from when fortress walls were necessary to protect its inhabitants from outlaw bands and the attacks of feudal lords.

The Freedom was an honour granted only to troops which had earned the trust of the local population, either through some valiant action or simply by being a familiar presence.

Holding the Freedom is the greatest honour that can be bestowed to a unit within the Armed Forces and entitles the Regiment to exercise a right to march through the Town with colours flying, drums beating, and bayonets fixed.