PART-time sailors from the Royal Navy Reserve unit HMS King Alfred will march through Portsmouth city centre on Saturday.
The 200 reservists, who are based at Whale Island, will exercise their Freedom of the City of Portsmouth for the first time since they were bestowed the honour in 2003.
The parade will begin from Paradise Street shortly before 11.30am, crossing Stanhope Road and proceeding on Isambard Brunel Road before marching through the archway into Guildhall Square for 11.30am.
The unit’s commanding officer, Commander Kevin Robertson urged the public to come and back the volunteers who support front-line operations while managing to juggle busy working lives and family commitments.
He said: ‘To exercise the right to march through the city of Portsmouth is a rare honour and a real privilege. Reserve personnel from HMS King Alfred are proud and delighted to be part of this historic occasion.’
The march comes as crowds are expected for HMS Illustrious’s return to Portsmouth at 5pm tonight following a £40m refit. HMS York will also be welcomed home at 9am tomorrow after a deployment which saw her deliver aid to Libya in March before patrolling the Falkland Islands and South America.