Sailors based at HMS Raleigh have exercised the right to march through their local town Torpoint.

On Sunday, September 24, under blustery skies and threatening clouds, the Mayor of Torpoint Cllr Gary Davis invited the Captain Jane Roe ADC Royal Navy of HMS Raleigh, the Royal Navy’s Phase One training establishment for Ratings, to exercise the honour of the Freedom of Torpoint.

First granted to HMS Raleigh in December 1996, the privilege allows the establishment to parade through the streets with “drums beating, colours flying, and bayonets fixed.” The tradition is one of the oldest surviving ceremonies still in existence, having first been presented in the City of London in 1237.

Mayor Cllr Gary Davis, accompanied by the Town Mayoress Mrs Victoria Davis, welcomed the parade saying, “The close affiliation that exists between Torpoint and HMS Raleigh extends back many years, and we both benefit from the bonds of friendship between us.”

In response, Captain Roe declared: “The bonds between HMS Raleigh and the town of Torpoint are inseparable; every sailor who joins the Royal Navy travels through the town on their way to the start of their Naval career, and the memory of crossing the Tamar, disembarking from the ferry and moving up through the town remains strong with every Rating.” Thanking the Town Mayor and the Council, she continued, “Torpoint is part of Raleigh, and Raleigh is part of Torpoint; it is a bond we do not take for granted. Thank you for your unwavering comradeship and dedication to the Armed Forces and the Royal Navy in particular.”

The town clerk read the historic Proclamation to those present and the Reverend Mike Woodall, mayor and Royal Naval Chaplain based at HMS Raleigh, read out the Naval prayer.