HMS Cambria awarded Freedom of County

Marching band
The honour grants HMS Cambria 'Freedom of entry with swords drawn bayonets fixed, drums beating, bands playing and colours flying' Photo: ITV News Wales

Naval ship HMS Cambria has been awarded the Freedom of the County Borough by the Vale of Glamorgan Council.

The Freedom of a County is the highest civic honour that can be bestowed upon a military organisation, and is considered a mark of trust and confidence.

A freedom ceremony took place this morning to mark the occasion, followed by a march from King Square through Barry town centre.

The current commander of HMS Cambria, Commander Neil Pugh, said the crew were 'extremely pleased' to be given the honour.

HMS Cambria has a distinguished service history to Wales.

The ship was commissioned in 1947 and originally based in Cardiff Docks.

The present buildings at Sully were opened on 15 October 1980, starting a valued connection with the Vale of Glamorgan.

Until 1993, Cambria's main operational role was the manning and operating of minesweepers.

From 1984, until it was sold in 1993, Cambria operated a River Class Minesweeper, HMS Waveney, which was a familiar sight in Barry Docks throughout that period.

Since 2003 a regular numberof reservists from Cambria have served in Iraq,the Gulf and Afghanistan, Sierra Leone and the Balkans.

Many of the volunteer reservists have been recruited from across South Wales and the Vale of Glamorgan.

It is a matter of great pride that the Reservists are able to serve in and for their home County and we are extremely pleased to have been given this honour.

– HMS Cambria Commander Neil Pugh

Lieutenant Commander Eileen Munson tells ITV Wales of HMS Cambria's delight at receiving the Freedom of the County Borough.