Tees

Freedom honours for 3 Rifles Battalion in Stockton

3 Rifles parade in Stockton
Image caption Crowds turned out to cheer the regiment in Stockton

Soldiers from the 3rd Battalion The Rifles paraded through the centre of Stockton after being awarded the Freedom of the Borough.

The regiment, which includes the former Durham Light Infantry, is receiving a series of honours in the North East.

On Wednesday soldiers marched through Darlington and on Friday a similar parade will be held in Sunderland.

The regiment is the largest infantry regiment in the British Army and recruits from across the North East.

Soldiers marched from Church Road and along Stockton High Street, passing the town's cenotaph before stopping at the Town Hall to receive the Freedom of the Borough.

The parade culminated in a free concert by The Rifles Band in Stockton Parish Gardens.

The Mayor of Stockton, Colin Leckonby, said: "We are delighted to welcome The Rifles to Stockton to receive the Freedom of the borough."

During its six-month tour of Afghanistan, the 1,400-strong 3 Rifles battle-group lost 30 members, the biggest loss of life in a battle-group since the Korean War.

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