Hundreds of people lined the streets of Uppingham today (Tuesday, May 3) as soldiers from the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Anglian Regiment marched through the town.
Hundreds of people lined the streets of Uppingham as soldiers from the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Anglian Regiment marched through the town.
The spectacular parade, with music from the army’s Corps of Drums, was held to officially honour the battalion with the Freedom of Entry to Uppingham.
It was the first time such an honour had ever been awarded and commanding officer Lieutenant Colonel Olly Brown said it demonstrated the strong links between the town and the armed forces.
He said: “We are a close-knit, family unit which still recruits from the local area and feels a real affinity with the community here.
“I am really proud to be here to receive the Freedom of Entry to Uppingham on behalf of the battalion. It is great to have the opportunity to say thank you to the community for their support over the years.
“We spend a lot of time overseas and to have something like on your return home is really special. It is fantastic to see so many people lining the streets to see us.”
The Corps of Drums began entertaining crowds gathering in Uppingham’s Market Place at 10.15am, prior to the arrival of around 80 soldiers from the battalion, who had marched there from Uppingham School’s science block.
A service of thanksgiving followed, with prayers for the regiment, the British Army and the local community, and afterwards Mayor of Uppingham Coun David Ainslie presented Lt Col Brown with a Freedom Scroll.
Coun Ainslie said: “It is my honour to present this, in due consideration of the battalion’s long-standing relationship with the town, and the services it has provided.
“The battalion now has the privilege and distinction of marching through the strrets on ceremonial occasions with drums beating, colours flying and bayonets fixed.”
Coun Ainslie and Lord Lieutenant of Rutland Laurence Howard inspected the troops before they marched down High Street East towards the cricket ground.
Shops had got into the spirit of the day by putting up Union Jack bunting and dozens of flag-waving school children, military veterans and members of the public were present to cheer the soldiers on.
The 2nd Battalion of the Royal Anglian Regiment is based at Kendrew Barracks, in Cottesmore, and recruits primarily from Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire and Rutland.