The sound of a beating drum and marching feet filled the streets of Harpenden when one of the British Army’s regiments exercised its right to the Freedom of the Town.

The Royal Anglian Regiment paraded through the streets of the town centre on Tuesday, April 12.

The regiment formed in 1964 and was granted the honour three years ago but, due to overseas commitments, had not been able to exercise the right until this year.

With a full band playing, the regiment marched through the town centre, starting at Lydekker Park at 12pm and continuing along the High Street before standing to attention outside Harpenden Public Halls, where they were inspected by The Countess of Verulam, Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of Hertfordshire.

To be granted freedom of a town or city is the greatest honour that can be bestowed on a unit within the Armed Forces and the Freedom entitles the regiment to exercise a right to march through the town with colours flying and bayonets fixed.

The Town Mayor, Cllr Brian Ellis, later hosted a reception at the Public Halls for members of the regiment and other distinguished guests.

He described the event as “a unique occasion and a very special moment in the history of the town”.