The Royal Marines are humbled to have had the Freedom of the City of Glasgow conferred and marched this weekend for the first time

Major General Martin Smith MBE, Commandant General Royal Marines

The Royal Marines and invited guests were welcomed to a special civic reception at the City Chambers.

“The Royal Marines are humbled to have had the Freedom of the City of Glasgow conferred and marched this weekend for the first time,” said Major General Smith. “It is with particular pride that the commandos paraded through the streets of Glasgow on this occasion, marking this historic milestone in the long history of the Corps and its relationship with the city.

“I am honoured to be able to present my officers and marines to the Lord Provost during this our 350th year and we couldn’t be more proud to exercise this honour in Glasgow, where we have such a strong bond.

“The local people found time to come out and show their support for the Royal Marines on this great ceremonial occasion.”

Lord Provost, Councillor Docherty, continued: “I am proud and thrilled to be granting Her Majesty’s Royal Marines the Freedom of the City. Glasgow appreciates its military and these select sea soldiers have a special place in our hearts Everyone turned out to cheer them on. 

“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’ earliest Reserve Unit. The granting of the Freedom of the City is the culmination of a memorable year for the Royal Marines and Glasgow.”

The historic move follows a successful motion to council in May last year by Veterans’ Champion, Councillor Malcolm Cunning, who said: “Council congratulates the Royal Marine Corps on its upcoming 350th anniversary in 2014.

“Since its formation, the Royal Marines has enjoyed strong links with Glasgow and continues to have a permanent presence in the city, through the Glasgow detachment of the Royal Marines Reserve Scotland, which was raised in Glasgow in 1948.

“Council wishes to demonstrate its highest respect for the proud history of the Royal Marine Corps and the dedication and sacrifices it continues to make to protect the interests of the United Kingdom.

“Therefore, Council agrees to award the Freedom of the City of Glasgow to the Royal Marines, to publicly acknowledge the regard in which the unit is held and highlight the strong relationship that continues between the Royal Marines and Glasgow."

The Royal Marines Reserve Scotland Glasgow detachment displays in George Square included an Offshore Raiding Craft, known as an ORC – at nine metres longs and 5,500 kilos, it is a substantial piece of equipment, giving the Royal Marines the force and manoeuvrability they require on the water. Members of the public was able to get up close and personal with this vessel, as they boarded to have a look around and get a feel for how it may operate on the water.

There was also Zodiac Inflatable Raiding Craft (IRC) for display purposes only, a supervised weapons stance, an arctic warfare display – allowing visitors the chance to look inside a specialised tent designed to withstand sub-zero temperatures – and access to operational equipment including Osprey Body Armour and helmets.

Images taken by PO Nick Tyron

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