Coventry & Warwickshire

Kineton troops given the freedom of Warwick

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Media captionLt Col Simon Hirst, commander of DEMSS Kineton

Troops from a Warwickshire army base that trains bomb disposal experts have been given the freedom of Warwick.

DEMSS Kineton is the largest munitions depot in Europe and trains up to 600 bomb disposal experts each year.

The troops, including members of the Royal Logistics Corps, marched through the town after a ceremony at Warwick Castle watched by about 2,000 people.

About 200 soldiers from the base took part in the ceremony.

Lt Col Simon Hirst said: "This is a tremendous honour for the base and we greatly appreciate the support we receive from our local community."

All traffic was diverted from the town centre for the parade to take place.

The base at Kineton opened in September 1941.

Image caption Capt Wayne Owers said troops appreciated the support

Warwick mayor Trudy Offer said: "With the fact that Kineton is celebrating its 70th anniversary and it's also the Queen's Diamond Jubilee year, it's all about feeling proud of our country and our servicemen."

Capt Wayne Owers, of the Royal Logistics Corps, said: "To get public recognition is very rare today and for the council and the mayor to bestow this on us is fantastic".

Capt Owers added about 20 people from the Kineton base were currently on tour in Afghanistan.

Three were doing active bomb disposal work while the others were supporting their work or that of other troops, he said.

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