Page last updated at 15:42 GMT, Saturday, 11 July 2009 16:42 UK

Cavalry march marks freedom award


Despite the rain, crowds turned out to cheer on the regiment

A regiment with Welsh links which has recently returned from Afghanistan has marched through Swansea after being awarded the freedom of the city.

The honour bestowed on 1st the Queen's Dragoon Guards (The Welsh Cavalry) coincides with the 40th anniversary of Swansea receiving city status.

The regiment is also celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

Swansea council leader Chris Holley said the honour was a way of signalling the city's gratitude for what they do.

Mr Holley said: "2009 is an important year for Swansea as it is celebrating the 40th anniversary of city status.

"Giving the freedom of the city to the QDG is our way of recognising that they are part of our community and have been for 50 years.

It's wonderful to support our lads - what they've done, what they're still doing for us
Sid Kidwell, Swansea resident

"Some of the soldiers have been recruited from Swansea and I'm sure there would be no prouder moment for them for their families to see them being publicly honoured in their home city.

The Queen's Dragoon Guards, who currently recruit from Wales and the border counties, are based in Paderborn, Germany.

The regiment have recently returned from a tour of duty in Afghanistan where their work included operating around Musa Qaleh in the north west of Helmand province.

The parade through the city centre was watched by sizeable crowds despite the rain.

One local man, Sid Kidwell, said he always came out to support the troops.

"It's wonderful to support our lads - what they've done, what they're still doing for us," he said.

The celebratory parade was followed by a reception in the Guildhall.

The day's events was one of a number held in Swansea in July to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the announcement by the then newly-invested Prince of Wales that it was to become a city.

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