Soldiers honoured with freedom award

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Soldiers based at St George’s Barracks will parade in Oakham on St George’s Day after being awarded Freedom of Entry to the town.

Beating drums will accompany the marching soldiers in the stirring event on April 23.

The honour has been awarded by Oakham Town Council and will be conferred during a service at All Saints’ Church, in Church Street.

The service will be followed by the presentation of the honour during a parade in Market Place, when Oakham mayor Alf Dewis will present an illuminated scroll to the Commanding Officer of 16th Regiment Royal Artillery.

The honour has been granted because of the long standing association of more than 70 years between the military base at North Luffenham and Oakham, and the service the members of the armed forces have performed for their town and country during that period.

Tickets will be needed for the service at the church due to limited space.

They will be available from Oakham Town Council.

Coun Dewis hopes a large crowd will turn out to watch the parade and show their support for the soldiers.

He said: “Oakham Town Council will try to involve as many people as possible but All Saints’ Church can only accommodate 400 people including service personnel and guests.

“Therefore due to limitation in numbers, admittance to the church will be by ticket only and we would urge that people who wish to attend apply in writing to Oakham Town Council.”

Following the service, which starts at 2pm, the parade will leave Market Place and march along High Street where the Lord Lieutenant of Rutland Dr Lawrence Howard will take the salute at the junction of Church Street and High Street.

The parade will then continue along High Street and turn down Northgate, before finishing in Church Street.

Anyone who wants to attend the church service should write to: The Town Clerk, Oakham Town Council, Victoria Hall, 39 High Street, Oakham, by March 15.