Freedom of the borough honour

By Harriet Ernstsons Friday 14 March 2014 Updated: 14/03 10:47

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Buy photos » Lt Col Dominique Cairns with Mayor Wanda King. (s)

THE HIGHEST honour Redditch can give to a group or individual has been handed out to the borough’s army regiment.

Members of the 37th Signal Regiment of the Royal Corps of Signals, based in Moons Moat, were given the Freedom of the Borough at a special council meeting on Monday (March 10).

The regiment are the third to be given the accolade, following in the footsteps of the 2nd Mercians and Walter Stranz, and will now march through the town on Saturday, June 28, to mark the achievement.

Speaking at the meeting, commanding officer Lt Col Dominique Cairns said it was an ‘incredibly proud evening’.

“Bestowing the Freedom means a great deal to the men and women of the regiment and especially to those who are from the borough itself,” she said.

“We see ourselves as an integral part of the community. We are the local military presence offering opportunities for those from the area who wish to join the armed forces. More widely we are always ready to support when required in the community.

“On behalf of the 37th Signal Regiment I would like to thank the council and the mayor for the great honour in granting us the Freedom of Redditch.”

Council leader Bill Hartnett spoke of the long history of the regiment, which moved its base to Redditch in 1992 but has origins going back to the 18th century, and of the work done not only in this country - for example helping during the recent flooding - but also abroad, with some of the regiment being posted out to Afghanistan later this month.

“The borough is proud of our armed forces and the valuable work they do for the country.”

Opposition leader Juliet Brunner added: “It is indeed a proud day for the town that we take this opportunity to appreciate and validate the tremendous service given by all these men and women in the regiment.

“The regiment has strong links with Redditch and it is only right and proper we bestow our highest honour upon those who have sworn to protect Queen and country in our name.”

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