A LANCASHIRE army regiment has been granted the freedom of a South African city.
The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment received the award on behalf of their now-defunct parent units, the South Lancashire and the King’s Own.
They fought in the historic Siege of Ladysmith in the Natal region during the Second Boer War from 1899-1900.
Soldiers from the modern-day infantry’s three battalions visited the city to pick up the award.
One of the 22 lucky enough to make the trip was Lance Corporal Sean Strudwick from Rawtenstall.
The 23-year-old, who serves with the Regiment’s 1st Battalion based in Catterick, North Yorkshire described the experience as ‘fantastic’.
Lance Corporal Strudwick and his peers were taken on a battlefield tour before parading in front of Ladysmith’s Mayor Councillor MV Madlala and the Colonel of the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment,
Brigadier Mike Griffiths.
He said: “The walk up Spion Kop took the original route that the British took to reach the top of the Kop, through what is now a game reserve. On the route we saw white rhino, zebra and giraffe and
had to have a team of local game wardens provide armed protection.
“The view from the top of the Kop was spectacular and I could only imagine the awful conditions suffered by the British forces as they battled to take and then hold the peak.”
“It was really good marching alongside the South African Army and the reaction of the local population to the parade was fantastic.”
Organiser Captain Simon Lowis of the 1st Battalion said: “It was good to take elements of the 1st, 2nd and 4th Battalions and pull together as a Regiment rather than its individual units.
“The people of Ladysmith were perfect hosts and made us feel extremely welcome there.”