THE ROYAL Regiment of Fusiliers are to be given the Freedom of Warwickshire.
And to mark the honour, agreed by Warwickshire County Council, the historic regiment will take part in a Freedom March in Warwick today (Friday).
County council leader Izzi Seccombe said: “Granting the Freedom of Entry is the county council’s message of loyal support to the regiment. We are very proud of the work they do in challenging circumstances.”
Coun Jerry Roodhouse, leader of the Liberal Democrat Group, added: “We are extremely grateful to the fusiliers and this is our way of saying thank you.”
Coun Richard Chattaway, deputy leader of the Labour Group, said: “Not only as a former member of the Armed Forces but also as a county councillor, I am delighted that the regiment has had this honour bestowed upon them.”
Warwickshire will be the second county area to grant the freedom of a county to the Regiment of Fusiliers, following Northumberland in 2010, although the Warwickshire Regiment of Fusiliers was granted the Freedom of Warwick District last year, which saw them parade down Leamington Parade which was lined with thousands of cheering well-wishers.
The county council last welcomed the Fusiliers in November 2009 as the Second Battalion returned from a tour of Afghanistan.
The regiment has a long and proud association with Warwickshire, becoming linked to the county in 1792 – although its origins stretch back to 1674 when Prince William of Orange asked for British troops to serve in Holland against the threat of the French.
It became known as the Royal Warwickshire Regiment in 1881, having been given the ‘royal’ title 60 years earlier.
Restructuring of the British Army over the years saw the Regiment became the Royal Warwickshire Fusiliers in 1963, and then five years later it amalgamated with the three other English fusilier regiments to become the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers.
Over the centuries the regiment has served around the world, from India to South Africa, in just about every conflict Britain has been involved in, including two world wars, and more recently in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Many brave soldiers have served in the Warwickshire ranks, with the regiment’s most famous son being Field Marshal Montgomery.