Wootton Bassett earns a 'Royal' title

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The Independent Online

An accident of geography placed Wootton Bassett in the public eye but it was the unassuming dedication of its residents that yesterday earned it a "Royal" title.

David Cameron announced that for the first time in more than a century the recognition was being bestowed by the Queen for the respect shown to the fallen of Iraq and Afghanistan.

In April 2007 the first coffins passed through Wootton Bassett when military repatriations were moved to nearby RAF Lyneham. The sight inspired former mayor Percy Miles, 72, and fellow old soldiers to stand in silent tribute. The vigil has since been repeated more than 340 times.

Yesterday, as it was announced the practice would end with the closure of the base, Mr Cameron said the town would become Royal Wootton Bassett.