Royal Marines given Freedom of Glasgow

Picture: John Devlin

Picture: John Devlin

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Elite commandos from the Royal Marines today paraded through Glasgow in front of hundreds to receive the Freedom of the City.

More than 100 troops equipped with swords and bayonets marched around George Square for the event which coincides with the branch’s 350th birthday celebrations.

Glasgow’s Lord Provost, Sadie Docherty presented the city’s highest honour to Commandant General, Major General Martin Smith at the special ceremony.

Hundreds of people turned out to watch as the Marines took to the streets along with the Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines Scotland.

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It is only the third time the Freedom of the City has been bestowed to a military unit, with the last being the Royal Highland Fusiliers in 1959.

The first regiment to ever receive the honour was the Highland Light Infantry (City of Glasgow Regiment) in 1948 following the end of the Second World War.

Glasgow-born comedian Billy Connolly was the last person to receive the honour from the city chambers in 2010.

Presenting the honour, the Lord Provost said: “This is a milestone year for the Royal Marines as they celebrate their 350th birthday and our city’s historic links with this legendary amphibious regiment, acknowledged as the first and finest in the world.

“Glasgow is home to the Corps’s earliest reserve unit. The granting of the Freedom of the City is the culmination of a memorable year for the Royal Marines and Glasgow.”

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