Soldiers’ pride at Colne parade

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Soldiers in the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment have spoken of their pride in parading in Pendle for the first time.

The regiment was granted the Freedom of the Borough of Pendle automatically and soldiers from the 1st Battalion paraded around Colne today after first being invited to do so in 2012 by Pendle Council’s former Mayor, Coun. Asjad Mahmood.

The 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment parade through Colne.

The 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment parade through Colne.

One-hundred-and-thirty soldiers took part in the parade, including five from Pendle: Cpl Wayne Crowcroft and Kingsmen Christopher Whitaker, Jack Lancaster, Ryan Hargreaves and James Shaun.

Maj. Bob Smethurst said: “We feel we’re at home effectively.

“We’re the infantry regiment of the North West of England and as such we have freedoms of something like 20 different boroughs around the North West and each of them are important to us.

“But this is the first time we have paraded in Colne and we are very excited about it.

“We know there are at least three of the soldiers here today who are local lads and we do recruit lots and lots of soldiers from this area.

“Therefore they are representative of other soldiers across the battalion who would very much like to be here themselves.”