Leeds & West Yorkshire

Ark Royal crew march through Leeds for final time

A parade celebrating the city of Leeds' long-standing link with HMS Ark Royal has taken place.

Around 160 sailors from the aircraft carrier, which is being decommissioned in March, marched through the city for the final time on Saturday.

They marched with bayonets fixed and colours flying in time to the drum beat of the Royal Marines Band of Scotland.

In 1941, the people of Leeds raised £9m towards the commissioning of a new Ark Royal after the previous ship sank.

The ship's commanding officer, Captain Jerry Kyd, said: "It is a real pleasure to be able to mark these historic and strong links with a parade through our city and attend the reception in the Civic Hall.

"I hope that one day a future Ark Royal will once again have the privilege of this special affiliation with the great city of Leeds."

The Freedom of the City parade started outside Leeds City Museum, marched along the Headrow, around the Victoria Quarter and returned for Lord Mayor Jim McKenna to take the salute outside the museum.

It was followed by a civic reception for the ship's company in the Civic Hall.

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