SOLDIERS from Hammersmith & Fulham’s Territorial Army Regiment, the Royal Yeomanry, will march through Hammersmith town centre to celebrate being awarded the freedom of the borough.
The honour is traditionally the way a town acknowledges the contribution of the armed forces based in their area.
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, will include 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, 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 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.
He 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.”