September 27th, 2016

Mercians to march through town to mark their freedom of Bromsgrove

Mercians to march through town to mark their freedom of Bromsgrove Mercians to march through town to mark their freedom of Bromsgrove
Updated: 10:46 am, May 07, 2015

THE MERCIANS will march through Bromsgrove to commemorate the regiment being given the freedom of the town.

About 100 troops will be led by their regimental mascot Derby 30th, a Swaledale Ram, when they parade through the town centre a week on Monday (February 16).

It will begin at 1pm outside Argos and see the soldiers march the full length of the High Street where they will take a salute near the Odd Fellows Memorial.

They will then continue down the High Street and loop around past the war monument on Crown Close, where they will be joined by cadets.

After that, they will return to the High Street, via Church Street.

The parade is part of The Keeping the Army in the Public Eye (KAPE) scheme which is aimed at enabling regiments to engage with the public in the areas they recruit from.

WO2 Tony Hopkins, from The Mercian Regiment, said: “They allow the soldiers to feel a great sense of pride whilst marching through their home county in front of family and friends and just as importantly allow the regiment to reinforce the strong links it has with the communities from which it draws the majority of its soldiers.”

Coun John Ruck, Bromsgrove’s Civic Head, said: “We are truly grateful to the men of The Mercian Regiment who put their lives on the line so that we might live in freedom.

“It is an honour to have them march down our streets and I hope to see as many residents as possible out there showing their support.

“And of course, I am greatly looking forward to meeting the infamous Private Derby 30th.”

Represenatives from the Bromsgrove Royal British Legion will be meeting the Mercians at Argos.

Chairman Patrick Smith said: “The people of Bromsgrove always show overwhelming support for the armed forces and we are hoping as many people as possible come out when the Mercian Regiment comes to town.

“I think it’s a great honour that they will march through Bromsgrove.”

A small stretch of road from St John Street to Market Street will be closed for approximately ten minutes whilst the parade passes and salutes the memorial. Residents are advised to avoid using this route around 1pm as there may be a backlog of traffic.

Soldiers will be on hand at either end of the High Street before and after the parade to talk with the general public and answer any questions.

Alongside returning from Afghanistan, the regiment has deployed on exercise to Cyprus, Lithuania and Uganda during the past 12 months, and will deploy to Canada and Kenya among others in 2015.

Visit http://www.army.mod.uk/infantry/regiments/23998.aspx or https://www.facebook.com/MercianRegiment for more information on The Mercian Regiment.

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