Wales

Last UK militia exercises it right to march in Monmouth

Britain's only remaining 'militia' unit have been honoured with a march through Monmouth, after returning from operations in Afghanistan.

The Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers (Militia) exercised their right after being awarded the freedom of the town in the 1950s.

About 30 members of the reservist force were involved in construction and defensive projects in Helmand.

Its regimental headquarters remain at Monmouth Castle.

"The links with the town go back a very long time," explained Royal Engineer, Capt Dominic Dias, one of the trustees of the regimental museum.

"It has been in this area since the 1600s, and is the most senior of the reservist forces."

Thanksgiving service

The RMRE is now the only remaining militia unit in the British Army, and first appeared in the Royal Muster of military units in the UK in 1539.

In its latest deployments, members of the RMRE were attached to the 21 Engineer Regiment as part of Operation HERRICK in Helmand.

The soldiers marched from the town's Old Monnow Bridge at 1300 GMT, before a salute outside Shire Hall and then a private thanksgiving service at St Mary's Parish Church.

Later, soldiers taking part in the parade received their Afghanistan service medals.

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