Gallery/Video: Crowds gather in Ipswich town centre for HMS Quorn Freedom March

HMS Quorn exercise their right to march through Ipswich lead by the band of her Majesty’s Royal Mari

HMS Quorn exercise their right to march through Ipswich lead by the band of her Majesty’s Royal Marines. - Credit: Lucy taylor

A navy warship crew exercised its right to march through Ipswich’s town centre today as crowds gathered to honour the troops.

HMS Quorn exercise their right to march through Ipswich lead by the band of her Majesty’s Royal Mari

HMS Quorn exercise their right to march through Ipswich lead by the band of her Majesty’s Royal Marines. - Credit: Lucy taylor

The captain and 45-strong crew of HMS Quorn, which has been affiliated with Ipswich for five years and has received the Freedom of the Borough, was welcomed by Ipswich mayor Bill Quinton, who inspected the ship’s company in the Cornhill.

The ship’s company marched through the town centre, led by the pomp and splendour of the Band of her Majesty’s Royal Marines.

One onlooker, Carol Leech, of Lanercost Way, Ipswich, watched with pride as her husband Alan Leech, 70, took part in the march as one of the standard bearers, representing the Royal Naval Association.

Mrs Leech, 67, said: “I was very proud of him. He was really looking forward to it and I was quite surprised to see so many people were here.”

The Freedom March was the culmination of a five-day visit to Ipswich by HMS Quorn, a Hunt class minesweeper.

George Ewing, who was in the Royal Marines reserves for nine years and marched through the streets of London for the Queen’s Coronation in 1953, said: “It was very nice that the people of Ipswich showed their appreciation.

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“I am biased but I think still think we have got the best marching band in the world, especially the drummers.”

Lieutenant Commander Stuart Yates, Commanding Officer of HMS Quorn, said: “It is a real honour for HMS Quorn to finally exercise the Freedom of Entry to the Borough of Ipswich after a three-year wait.”

Mr Quinton said: “It is always a proud occasion for Ipswich to officiate at any event to honour our Armed Services and HMS Quorn is particularly close to our hearts.”