Royal Anglians set to receive unique honour from town

The 2nd Royal Anglians Regiment at Kendrew Barracks EMN-140625-143056009

The 2nd Royal Anglians Regiment at Kendrew Barracks EMN-140625-143056009

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Uppingham Town Council is to bestow a unique honour upon the 2nd Battalion of The Royal Anglian Regiment during a spectacular ceremony next month.

The battalion, based at Kendrew Barracks, in Cottesmore, will be granted the Freedom of Entry to Uppingham on Tuesday, May 3.

It will be the first time such an honour has been awarded and reflects the town’s strong connections with the armed forces.

Mayor of Uppingham David Ainslie is urging members of the public to turn out in force and support the soldiers as they parade through the town.

He said: “We have always had an affinity with service personnel in this area and when the idea of awarding an honour to the Royal Anglians was floated 18 months I thought it sounded great.

“We took it to full council and it was agreed that we would be bestow the Freedom of Entry to Uppingham for the first time.

“We are expecting a big turnout from members of the public - alongside our invited guests - and we hope they will help us make it a very special day.”

The army’s Corp of Drums will entertain crowds in Uppingham’s Market Place from 10.15am.

Around 80 soliders from the battalion, and a marching band of 20, will begin a march from the new science block at Uppingham School at10.30am - arriving in the Market Place ten minutes later.

There will then be a general salute, a drumhead service and speeches when a Freedom Scroll will be presented.

Coun Ainslie and Lord Lieutenant of Rutland Laurence Howard will then inspect the troops before they march down High Street East towards the cricket ground where the parade will end at 11.30am.

A reception will then be held at the town hall.

Coun Ainslie said it promised to be a spectacular day.

He said: “We’ve worked hard since 2014 to commemorate the centenary of the First World War and this ceremony forms part of that programme.

“We are particularly pleased to have secured the participation of the Corps of Drums - their performance is set to be very impressive and my message to anyone who is free on the day would be this: you could do no better than come along and see what promises to be a fantastic spectacle.”

The 2nd Battalion of The Royal Anglian Regiment, know as The Poachers, recruits primarily from Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire and Rutland.

As part of the Army 2020 Adaptable Force, the battalion maintains a high level of training and is ready to react to any number of different tasks around the world.

The battalion conducted nine tours of Northern Ireland and served on operations in Cyprus, Kuwait, Bosnia, Sierra Leone, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Uppingham town clerk Neil Wedge said the council is planning to film the event for preservation in its archives.

He said: “Uppingham has a long association with the Royal Anglians - and also the regiments which preceded it.”

Kendrew Barracks opened in 2012 on the site previously known as RAF Cottesmore - former home of Harrier GR9 squadrons - which was closed following a defence spending review.

It was named after Old Uppinghamian Major General Sir Douglas Kendrew who served in the Royal Leicestershire Regiment. Major General Kendrew, who died in 1989, served in North Africa, Italy, Korea and Cyprus during the Second World War and was awarded the Distinguished Service Order four times.