IN A display of pomp and colour, the Royal Marines were given the freedom of Gosport borough.

The Portsmouth Band, pictured, led the men from 40 Commando, Royal Marines, as they executed their right to freedom of entry with swords drawn, drums beating and colours flying.

The freedom of the borough is the highest honour any council can bestow on a person or group and was awarded to the Royal Marines for all their hard work in the town.

Mayor of Gosport, Graham Burgess, said: "In this instance it was awarded with a deep respect and admiration to the Royal Marines, a service organisation that has long associations with the town and who have served us well over the years."

The town's association with the Royal Marines goes back 150 years and they have historical links with St Vincent College and the War Memorial Hospital, both of which they helped build.