HMS Vengeance submariners exercise their Freedom of the Borough in Bury St Edmunds

Freedom of the Borough - HMS Vengeance. Mayor Terry Clements inspects the troops. Picture Mark Westley
Freedom of the Borough - HMS Vengeance. Mayor Terry Clements inspects the troops. Picture Mark Westley

Submariners paraded through Bury St Edmunds on Sunday as they exercised their Freedom of the Borough.

One hundred submariners from HMS Vengeance, which is based at HM Naval Base Clyde, in Scotland, marched through the town.

The submarine and Bury’s St Edmund Sea Cadet unit were awarded the borough’s highest civic honour in May.

The crew of the Trident submarine, one of four to form the UK’s nuclear deterrent, were the first Royal Navy squadron to be given the Freedom of St Edmundsbury.

The honour was bestowed following a 17-year affiliation between Bury and HMS Vengeance.

The parade started at the Abbey Gardens, went up Abbeygate Street and to Charter Square, where the band played and Mayor Terry Clements inspected the troops, before they marched back to Angel Hill.

St Edmundsbury does not confer the freedom of the borough on a regular basis, with just 14 previous recipients since 1974.

Before marching through the town, submariners lent a hand to Gatehouse’s Christmas project on Saturday, helping to wrap food boxes and hampers ready for the festive season.

Elaine Channen, of Gatehouse, said: “They were brilliant and seemed to love helping us out.”