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9th January 2020

HMS Cambria will show its gratitude to the Vale of Glamorgan

BY: Nathan Spackman

Welsh Royal Naval Reservists from HMS Cambria have been granted permission by the local  Council to march through the town of Barry in South Wales, as a symbol of gratitude to Barry and the Vale of Glamorgan for their valuable support and friendship spanning over 40 years prior to their much awaited move to Cardiff Bay in May 2020.

Over 60 members of Wales’s only Maritime Reserve Unit, together with a Ceremonial Guard, will proudly march from Kings Square to the Civic Offices on Saturday 18th January 2020 from 11:30am, led by the Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines Commando Training Centre, Lympstone.

The Farewell Parade will be attended by the Lord Lieutenant of South Glamorgan - Mrs Morfudd Meredith, the Mayor of the Vale of Glamorgan – Councillor Christine Cave, Mayor of Barry - Councillo Margaret Wilkinson as well as the High Sherriff, Dr Isabel Graham. Other attendees will include, Captain David Teasdale RNR – Deputy Commander Maritime Reserves and several other civic dignitaries from across the region and past Commanding Officers of  HMS Cambria.

HMS Cambria was awarded the Freedom of the County of the Vale of Glamorgan in April 2012 and a Freedom of a County is the highest civic honour that can be bestowed upon a military unit and is considered a mark of trust.

An artists impression of how the new £11 million HMS Cambria in Cardiff bay could look once completed.

Commanding Officer of HMS Cambria, Commander Steve Fry, said his Ship’s Company were looking forward to the Farwell parade through Barry.

“My Sailors are extremely honoured to march and show their gratitude to the Vale of Glamorgan,” said Cdr Steve Fry. “This year will see us move into a multi-million pound building in the Heart of Cardiff Docks, and place the Royal Navy and the Maritime Reserves in Wales centre stage.

“Our relationship with the Vale and the town of Barry has been excellent and strengthened with nearly forty years of being located here.  We very much intend to maintain these strong links.”

HMS Cambria has a distinguished history in Wales. The Unit was commissioned in 1947 and originally based in Cardiff Docks. The present buildings at Sully were opened on 15 October 1980, beginning a valued and affectionate connection with the Vale of Glamorgan, and particularly the town of Barry.

Until 1993, Cambria's main operational role was manning and operating minesweepers in support of Fleet operations. The last minesweeper operated by Cambria was HMS Waveney and a familiar sight in Barry Docks.

Since 2003 a regular number of the Unit’s volunteer reservists, who are recruited across South Wales and the Vale of Glamorgan have served across the world including conflict zones in; Iraq, the Persian Gulf, Afghanistan, Sierra Leone and the Balkans.

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