Freedom honours for 3 Rifles Battalion in Sunderland

3 Rifles parade in Sunderland
Image caption Soldiers marched to Sunderland's cenotaph

Soldiers from 3rd Battalion The Rifles have paraded through Sunderland and given Freedom of the City.

The regiment, which includes the former Durham Light Infantry, recruits heavily from across the area.

On Wednesday there was a parade through Darlington, and one in Stockton on Thursday.

Survivors of the 125th Anti-tank Regiment who endured captivity in the Far East during World War II were also honoured.

During its six-month tour of Afghanistan, the 1,400-strong 3 Rifles battle group lost 30 members, the biggest loss of life in a battle group since the Korean War.

Councillor Paul Watson, leader of Sunderland City Council, said that the regiment had strong links to the region.

"These links have contributed to the community spirit of Sunderland and it is only right that we honour the regiment with the Freedom of the City," he said.

"Neither should we forget what members of the 125th went through as prisoners of war in the Far East.

"I know the people of Sunderland will show their support on the day and honour all these veterans who have given so much."

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