Honouring the Royal Hampshire Regiment

The new trackbed for the Horndean Light Railway looking south across the bridge over Southwick Hill Road, Cosham, about 1903.

NOSTALGIA: Ready and waiting, the shiny new tracks climbing Portsdown Hill

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On this day in 1949 Portsmouth City Council agreed that the freedom of the city should be given to the Royal Hampshire Regiment.

This gave the right to march through the city with colours flying, to the beat of a drum, with bayonets fixed.

The scroll granting the freedom was awarded on May 20, 1950 on Southsea Common by the lord mayor, John Privett, who said: ‘Portsmouth has long had the proud title of ‘Home of the British Navy’, but we are equally proud of our associations with His Majesty’s Army.

‘In honouring our county regiment today we are honouring not only those who are serving, but also those stalwarts of the 37th and 67th Regiments of Foot.

‘We are honouring those who fought at Blenheim, at Malplaquet and at Minden; we are paying tribute to those who fought in the First World War, particularly those at Gallipoli where they effected a landing on V Beach despite terrible opposition.

‘We are paying tribute to the courage, valour and devotion to duty of those who served in the Second World War.’

In 1992, the Royal Hampshire Regiment was merged with the Queen’s Regiment to become the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment, known as The Tigers – from John Sadden’s The Portsmouth Book of Days.