VIDEO: Crowds line the route as Royal Anglians march through Bedford with the Kings Division Band

Soldiers of the Royal Anglian Regiment exercised their right to march through Bedford with colours flying and bayonets fixed today, Tuesday, July 22.

Crowds lined the route in Midland Road as the major military display took place in blazing sunshine.

Royal Anglians parade through Bedford.

Royal Anglians parade through Bedford.

The regiment paraded through the town centre before an inspection in Harpur Square.

Accompanying up to 160 soldiers from the regiment, many from Bedford, were the Kings Division Band playing a range of traditional marching tunes.

There was also a display by the Drum Corp of the 2nd Battalion Royal Anglian Regiment in Harpur Square.

The parade began at 12.05pm when the regiment made their way to the square as the band continued to play.

The colourful event is among a number of Freedom Parades taking place across the East celebrating the regiment’s historic link with each town.

The Royal Anglian Regiment received the Freedom of the Borough in 1980, though the original award dates back to 1946 when the award was made to the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regiment, nicknamed “The Poachers” in honour of the Regimental march “The Lincolnshire Poacher”.

Mayor Dave Hodgson said: “The Royal Anglian Regiment and its predecessors have a very strong historic link to the town. We’re proud to welcome the regiment back to Bedford. The parade provides the opportunity to recognise their hard work and the suffering they have endured away from their families and in often difficult conditions.”