The Vale Grants Honorary Freedom of the County Borough to HMS
The Vale of Glamorgan Council will be awarding the Freedom of
the County Borough to HMS Cambria in recognition of their
distinguished service history to Wales.
On Saturday 31 March 2012, the ship's company
of HMS Cambria will exercise the honorary freedom with a ceremony
and parade through the town of Barry.
The Freedom of a County is the highest civic honour that
can be bestowed and stems from medieval times when fortresses were
necessary to protect inhabitants from incursion by outlaw bands and
attack by feudal lords.
Groups of armed men were refused entry to the
city unless the citizens were confident they meant no harm.
Granting permission for a formed body of armed men to enter a city
became a mark of trust and confidence summarised as the "Freedom of
entry with swords drawn bayonets fixed, drums beating, bands
playing and colours flying".
HMS Cambria was commissioned in 1947 and
originally based in Cardiff Docks. The present buildings at Sully,
which are the former service married quarters, 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
Since 1993, the RNR's role has undergone
significant change. This change has become more pronounced since
2003, and a regular number of reservists from Cambria have served
in Iraq, the Gulf and Afghanistan, Sierra Leone and the Balkans.
Combined with deployments on board Royal Navy and Royal Fleet
Auxiliary ships and shore based posts, up to 25 per cent of the
ship's company have been consistently mobilised with the Royal Navy
Many of the volunteer reservists have been
recruited from across South Wales and the Vale of
The current commander of HMS Cambria,
Commander Neil Pugh, said:
"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."
The Mayor of the Vale of Glamorgan, Cllr John
"This is an important landmark in the close
relationship between the Vale of Glamorgan Council and HMS Cambria
and is in recognition of the service of past and present
The freedom ceremony, which will be attended
by HM Lord Lieutenant and dignitaries from across Wales, will be
held on Saturday 31 March 2012 at 11am. Following the ceremony the
ship's company of HMS Cambria, led by HM Royal Marine Band will
march from King Square through Barry town centre.