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By Ian Dipple Tuesday 10 June 2014 Updated: 10/06 14:21
MEMBERS of Redditch's territorial army unit are to parade through the town later this month in celebration of being awarded the freedom of the borough.
The 37th Royal Signals Army Reserve Unit will be cheered through the streets of the town centre on Saturday, June 28. More details of the day's events will be released in the near future.
It comes after borough councillors requested then-Mayor Wanda King to confer the Freedom Scroll to the regiment in recognition of the voluntary service of its men and women, which was presented at a ceremony in March.
The 37th Signals have bases in Cardiff, Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham and Coventry and have been headquartered in Moons Moat, Redditch, since 1992. They use their spare time for training and supporting the armed forces and provide communications systems in times of national emergencies and support overseas operations in Afghanistan, Gibraltar and Cyprus. They also played a part in UK operations including London 2012 and helping people in the south of England affected by severe flooding.
The unit is only the third group or individual to have the honour of the freedom of the borough. It was given to the Mercian Regiment in 2010 who also marked the honour with a parade through the town while Walter Stranz remains the only individual to have received such recognition.
Redditch's newly elected mayor Coun Pat Witherspoon said: "The freedom of the borough and parade is more than just a show of respect to the men and women that serve on our behalf. It is a confirmation of how the ties between the regiment and local people have grown since they first moved here in 1992 and I’m sure people will want to turn out in numbers on June 28."
Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Dominique Cairns TD added: "We have developed strong links with Redditch and it is an honour for that to be formalised further with the award of the freedom of the town. We rely heavily on our local personnel to support our activities and look forward to building even stronger links during the coming years, and working closely with the people of Redditch - many of whom are currently serving with the regiment."
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