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Welsh Guards Freedom Parade

The Welsh Guards, granted the Freedom of Rhondda Cynon Taf in 2013, are returning to the County Borough to undertake a Freedom Parade.

The event takes place in Pontypridd on Thursday 14th September, starting at the Bandstand in Ynysangharad War Memorial Park at 11.30am.

The public are invited along to support the troops by lining the route and enjoy the military spectacle.

The Freedom of the County Borough is the highest civic honour that can be bestowed and was granted in recognition of The Welsh Guards service and strong links to the area.

The Welsh Guards are currently preparing for operations next year and this will be a rare opportunity to see them close up on home soil before they depart the UK.

Cllr Maureen Webber, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Council Business, with responsibility for Armed Forces, said:

“The Welsh Guards Freedom Parade on September 14 further cements its relationship with the local authority and the people of Rhondda Cynon Taf.

“The Council remains committed to its Armed Forces Community and their families, as highlighted by the work carried out through the Armed Forces Covenant and the range of associated support that the Council provides.

“I urge the people of Rhondda Cynon Taf to turn out in great numbers on September 14 and show their overwhelming support of The Welsh Guards as they take part in a Freedom Parade through Pontypridd town centre.”

The Welsh Guards Freedom Parade will start at the Bandstand, turn right past the National Lido of Wales, Lido Ponty, follows the path around Ynysangharad War Memorial Park before exiting at the main gates and heading into Taff Street, returning into the park at the bottom entrance and ending back at the Bandstand.

The Regiment’s first Victoria Cross – the highest honour for bravery- was awarded in July 1917, to Rhondda Cynon Taf resident, Sergeant Robert Bye.

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council has a proud history of delivering exemplar support for the wide Armed Forces community. It has also assisted other local authorities in Wales to sign up to the Armed Forces Covenant.

The Council ensures its Armed Forces community has access to priority primary and secondary health services as well as offering free swimming at its leisure centres, which has been rolled out across Wales.

The Council’s understanding of the value of military skills has also driven forward successful initiatives such as the Armed Forces Employment Pathway, which offers work experience and encourages job applications from members of the military community.

With grants from the Armed Forces Covenant Fund, the Council also runs a pioneering scheme helping ex-forces personnel who have served in the last 10-15 years to gain credits for higher education.

The Council’s continued commitment to its serving and veteran Armed Forces Community has led to the authority securing a prestigious Gold Award from the Ministry of Defence.

To facilitate The Welsh Guards Freedom Parade, temporary road closures will be in place in Pontypridd town centre from noon until 12.45pm. Alternative routes will be available.

The Welsh Guards Freedom Parade takes place in Pontypridd, on Thursday, September 14, starting 11.30am at Ynysangharad War Memorial Par. All are welcome to come along and support our troops and also line the route.