PERSONNEL from an RAF base have marked its being granted the Freedom of Ripon by staging a march through the city.

Crowds clapped and cheered as airmen and women from RAF Leeming paraded on to the Market Square with their bayonets attached to their rifles and displayed the Illuminated Address given to the station as there was a flypast of three Hawk jets from 100 Squadron.

The Station Commander Group Captain David Bradshaw, Station Commander of RAF Leeming and the Mayor of Ripon, Councillor Pauline McHardy, inspected the parade as the RAF College band marked the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.

An RAF Leeming spokesman said: "The city of Ripon and RAF Leeming has a strong relationship forged over many years, a number of service personnel from across the country have settled in the city as a result of being stationed in the area and several of them were proud to witness to the conferral ceremony.

Cllr Mrs McHardy said: “We are very, very proud of our Armed Forces in Ripon, and I think you can see that from the crowds that have turned out today.”

Following the parade a guard of honour lined the entrance of Ripon Cathedral welcoming all to a Battle of Britain memorial service.

Group Captain David Bradshaw said: “These are our last opportunities to thank veterans for their efforts on behalf of us all. But now we turn to the younger generation to make sure they remember the veterans.”