MEMBERS of Redditch’s army reserve unit have accepted the Freedom of the Borough with a pledge to continue to ‘go wherever we are sent and do what is required’.
The 37th Signal Regiment, which has its headquarters in Moons Moat, marched through the town centre on Saturday (June 28) in recognition of the honour which was first awarded in March.
About 100 officers from the regiment’s units across the country took part in the parade which also coincided with Armed Forces Day.
Troops were presented to Mayor Pat Witherspoon and Lord Lieutenant of Worcestershire Lt Colonel Patrick Holcroft outside the Town Hall before a ceremony of thanks was held for the work of the regiment and Britain’s Armed Forces both home and abroad.
Coun Witherspoon said: “Here in Redditch we are proud to be the home of the 37th Signal Regiment and the 54th Signal Squadron and we recognise the role these men and women play in being prepared to deal with terrorist incidents and natural disasters such as last year’s floods.
“On behalf of the citizens of Redditch I endorse the Freedom of the Borough of Redditch to the 37th Signal Regiment. Thank you all.”
Despite heavy rainfall about 200 people lined the route to show their support. After the parade the regiment presented the town with the gift of a statue of a winged lion.
Commanding officer Lt Colonel Dominique Cairns told the Standard “For us Redditch is our main home, we have a number of soldiers and officers from the borough, so by the town and the borough honouring us today it means a lot to those servicemen and women, reserves and regular, in all those things they do. It’s a welcome thank you.”
The regiment has a dual role in supporting the regular army in overseas operations including Afghanistan and United Nations exercises around the world, as well as responding to major incidents in the UK such as flooding and key sporting events like London 2012 and the Commonwealth Games.
Council leader Bill Hartnett added he had spoken to many of those who took part in the parade and they had told him they would take away great memories of their day in Redditch.
“The rain could not dampen the pride and enthusiasm of those that took part or witnessed this spectacular event.”
*ALCESTER also celebrated Armed Forces Day with a flag raising ceremony at St Nicholas Church Green on Saturday.
The event was hosted by the Alcester branch of the Royal British Legion.
Mike Gittus, branch chairman, said: “The raising of the flag today reminds us all of the wonderful work undertaken by 350,000 serving soldiers and reservists on behalf of our nation, providing peace and protection around the world.”
Members of The 37th Signal Regiment line up along Alcester Street. Pictures by Alex Bradbury 2714010ABR7.
Redditch Mayor Pat Witherspoon is presented to the regiment.
About 200 people still turned out to watch the parade despite heavy rainfall 2714010ABR6.
The band performed as part of the service prior to the march. 2714010ABR14