Territorial Army Regiment Awarded Freedom of Borough

Royal Yeomanry to celebrate highest honour with march through Hammersmith

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Soldiers from Hammersmith and Fulham’s own Territorial Army Regiment, the Royal Yeomanry, will march through Hammersmith Town Centre next month to celebrate being awarded the freedom of the borough.

The accolade is the highest honour Hammersmith and Fulham Council can bestow on any person or group, and is traditionally the way a town acknowledges the contribution of the armed forces based in their locality.

The freedom, which dates back hundreds of years, is given by the Mayor and allows the military unit to march through the borough’s streets with colours flying and bayonets fixed.

The parade on Sunday, March 11 at 3pm, includes 150 marching soldiers, the Royal Yeomanry regimental band, standard bearers, tanks and mounted soldiers on horseback.

It sets off from St Paul’s Church following a church service for soldiers and their families to both celebrate the freedom of the borough and to give thanks for the safe return of troops from Afghanistan. The service will be conducted by Reverend Simon Downham and the regimental padre Reverend Mark Chester.

The route begins at Sussex Place, under Hammersmith Flyover, and onto Queen Caroline Street before turning left into King Street to Hammersmith Town Hall, where a salute will be taken outside. There will then be a medal ceremony where several of the soldiers on parade will receive operational medals, followed by a civic reception. Hundreds of local residents are expected to turn out to watch the parade.

Councillor Frances Stainton, Mayor of Hammersmith & Fulham, will be leading the historic event alongside the commanding officer of the Royal Yeomanry, Lieutenant Colonel Newton Astbury.

Cllr Stainton said: “Soldiers from the Royal Yeomanry are amongst the borough’s unsung heroes and it is only fitting that they exercise their right to parade through our streets in this way. It is a wonderful opportunity for the borough’s residents to honour their military service and the selfless contribution they make on our behalf.”

The Commanding Officer of the Royal Yeomanry, Lieutenant Colonel Newton Astbury said: “It is both an honour and a privilege for the Royal Yeomanry to have been awarded the Freedom of the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham. We have always appreciated and valued the support that the Borough gives to us; this honour cements our relationship.”

A resolution to bestow the freedom of the borough to the Royal Yeomanry was passed at a special council meeting on January 26.

To make sure the parade runs smoothly and safely, all parking bays, loading bays and single yellow lines on King Street between Hammersmith Gyratory and Nigel Playfair Avenue will be suspended with Nigel Playfair Avenue closed to traffic. Some parking bays in Sussex Place will also be suspended. Local police will be on hand to manage the traffic at the time of the parade.

 

February 23, 2012