Liverpool

Freedom march for Royal Welsh battalion in Chester

Soldiers from the 1st Battalion The Royal Welsh have marched through Chester, after being given the freedom of the borough.

The 550-strong battalion, based at Dale Barracks, returned from a five-month tour of Afghanistan last month.

They were awarded the freedom of the borough by Cheshire West and Chester Council.

"It is a huge privilege and a huge honour," commanding officer Lt Col Nick Lock said.

"All the soldiers greatly appreciate this honour that has been bestowed on the battalion."

The group made the biggest improvised explosive device (IED) find in UK Army history during their tour, the Ministry of Defence said.

During the tour, they lost one of their comrades, Fusilier Jonathan Burgess, from Swansea, during a gun battle with the Taliban on 7 April.

Lt Col Lock said the soldiers would be thinking of Fusilier Burgess during the march.

The Lord Mayor, Councillor Neil Ritchie, said the council and residents of the borough were "truly delighted" to have the battalion march in Chester.

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