SOLDIERS were given a hero’s welcome on Saturday, July 21, 2018, as crowds lined the streets to celebrate their regiment receiving the freedom of the town.
Hundreds of people turned out to watch troops from 1 Regiment Royal Logistic Corps (RLC) parade through the Causeway and Market Square, led by The Band of the Royal Logistic Corps.
Union flag bunting adorned shop windows in Market Square and the crowds waved flags in celebration.
The regiment was given the town’s highest civic honour, the Freedom of Entry, which is a ceremonial decree allowing the regiment to march through the town with swords drawn, bayonets fixed, drums beating, band playing and colours flying.
Soldiers paraded to Market Square where Bicester mayor Sean Gaul joined Brigadier Nigel Allison, Lt Col Nathan Crew and Deputy Lieutenant (Retd) Brigadier Ian Inshaw to inspect the troops and take the salute.
Councillor Gaul said: “It was a very moving day and I felt very privileged to have awarded such a high honour to 1 Regiment.”
Brigadier Allison said: “Saturday was a great honour for 1 Regiment RLC, the Royal Logistic Corps and the wider military community in Bicester as a whole.
“It is my hope that Saturday’s momentous occasion will serve to bring the Army and the community they serve ever closer.”
The parade was preceded by a service at St Edburg’s Church, which was attended by officers from 1 Regiment RLC, Bicester Garrison, the DEMS training regiment, soldiers from 1 Regiment RLC, and many local dignitaries including town, district and county councillors, and mayors from neighbouring towns.
Opening the church service, The Rev Verena Breed, of the Bicester team, said it was a “privilege and honour” to host the service, and the Rt Rev Steven Croft, Bishop of Oxford, said the regiment was part of the Bicester community and had the town’s “appreciation and support”.
There were readings by Bicester’s mayor and Lt Col Crew, and the regiment chaplain, The Rev Paul Green led prayers.
A scroll was presented and signed in a separate ceremony in Garth Park following the parade.
1 Regiment RLC has been based at St David’s Barracks since 2014 after moving from Germany and is expected to remain there until at least 2028.
The Liberty of Bicester had previously been given to 23 Pioneer Regiment, which disbanded in 2014 as part of restructuring in the Armed forces, and also 2507 (Bicester) Air Training Corps.
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