2nd Battalion Duke of Lancaster's Regiment Freedom of West Lancashire Borough Parade through Ormskirk, a set on Flickr.NB: I apologise for using Lancaster not Lancaster's in the photo file names - inverted commas aren't very file friendly.
The Freedom of West Lancashire is to be presented to the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment at an event in Ormskirk on 22 October 2011.
The Mayor of West Lancashire, Councillor Rob Bailey, will mark the event with the presentation of a ceremonial scroll to Brigadier Mike Griffiths CBE. This will be followed by a march through the town centre by the troops, supported by the Band of the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment.
Freedom of the Borough was granted to the regiment following the unanimous agreement of West Lancashire Borough Council in December 2010.
The freedom entitles the regiment the right, privilege and honour of marching through the streets of West Lancashire on ceremonial occasions with “swords drawn, bayonets fixed, drums beating and colours flying.”
There will be a special service at Ormskirk Parish Church, where soldiers will be presented with a commemorative illuminated scroll signed by civic leaders and a specially-commissioned drum major's sash featuring an embroidered West Lancashire crest and regimental badge.
West Lancashire Mayor, Councillor Rob Bailey, said: “The people of West Lancashire are enormously proud of the efforts made by our brave armed forces around the world.
“This is a gesture the council and local community can make to our troops and in particular our local regiment, which has many soldiers from West Lancs and the surrounding area.”
Councillor Ian Grant, leader of West Lancashire Borough Council, added: “It gives me great pride that West Lancashire can publicly honour its local regiment in this way. I was overjoyed to propose this gesture to the council and immensely pleased it was approved unanimously.
“The parade will be a great occasion for the regiment, their families and local people to enjoy.”
Colonel Martin Amlôt, the regimental secretary, said: “The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment is very moved by the obviously genuine affection and esteem in which it is held by the people of West Lancashire. We are immensely proud of the fact that the borough council has chosen to grant us the Freedom of West Lancashire with its traditional military ‘rights’ of marching through with ‘colours flying, drums beating and bayonets fixed.’ This is one of the first ‘Freedoms’ that the regiment has earned in its own right, since it was formed in 2006, rather than the renewal of a Freedom granted to one of our predecessors. I am glad to be able to say to the people of West Lancashire and the council how very grateful we are for this most significant recognition. We will do our best to live up to the honour in the future."
Freedom of the Borough dates from the Middle Ages, when troops were not allowed to march through without the permission of the local council. These days, it is a ceremonial honour showing the ties between the borough and a particular regiment.
The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment was formed in 2006 following a merger between the King's Own Royal Border Regiment, the King's Regiment and the Queen's Lancashire Regiment, together with their respective companies of the Lancastrian and Cumbrian Volunteers and the King's Cheshire Regiment.
The event is kindly sponsored by Edge Hill University, who are providing the reception venue, H Greaves and Son Butchers, and Burscough Brewing Company, who are creating a commemorative beer.