HUNDREDS of people looked on as Territorial Army soldiers marched through York’s streets to exercise their newly-granted Freedom of the City.

The 80 soldiers from the Queen’s Own Yeomanry received the new honour from the Lord Mayor of York, Coun John Galvin, at a ceremony on Saturday.

Following the Freedom ceremony, the troops marched though the city with bayonets fixed. They were accompanied by eight light reconnaissance tanks and the Heavy Cavalry and Cambrai Band. A Freedom scroll was presented to the Squadron’s honorary colonel, Colonel William R Worsley.

The Freedom of the City is the highest honour York can bestow on an individual or organisation.

Seven soldiers from the Queen’s Own Yeomanry are currently serving in Afghanistan, protecting military bases and more than 80 percent of the troops involved in the parade have served on operations in either Iraq or Afghanistan.

The Queen’s Own Yeomanry is an armoured reconnaissance regiment and has squadrons in York, Newcastle, Ayr, Cupar and Belfast.