Final details revealed ahead of Queen's Dragoon Guards freedom parade
- Credit: Sonya Duncan
Final details have been revealed for a special parade which will see an army regiment given the freedom of Dereham.
British Army cavalry regiment 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards (QDG) will be officially granted the prestigious honour on Tuesday, June 28.
Nicknamed the Welsh Cavalry, they have been based at Robertson Barracks in Swanton Morley since 2015.
Dereham Town Council is giving the QDG the freedom of the town in recognition of their work throughout the pandemic, which saw them drive ambulances and assist the NHS.
Soldiers have also been deployed in Mali for much of the last year to undertake a vital peacekeeping mission.
In October, troops shot dead two jihadists after coming under attack in a remote part of the west African nation.
Hugh King, the mayor of Dereham, said: "Dereham Town Council is proud to bestow the ancient honour of freedom of the town on the 1st Queen’s Dragoon Guards.
"They have truly earned this honour, both in the way they have integrated into our community, and the way the town's people have valued their contribution to local life and their service to the country.
"I would encourage as many people as possible to line the parade route on Tuesday and show their appreciation for the commitment and dedication these men and women give to keep our nation safe."
Proceedings on Tuesday will begin with a short ceremony outside Dereham Memorial Hall from 10.30am, when the mayor will formally given consent for the regiment to march through the town with bands playing, standards flying and swords drawn.
The parade itself will begin from 11.30am, but traffic will be restricted on Cowper Road, Wellington Road, Market Place, High Street and Norwich Street from 6am to 2pm.
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Around 200 service personnel, vehicles, a military band and various dignitaries are taking part.
The QDG's move to Swanton Morley seven years ago saw them replace fellow cavalry regiment, the Light Dragoons, who were based in Norfolk for more than 15 years.
They too were awarded the Freedom of Dereham back in 2012.
However, in 2028 the QDG are set to relocate to Wales, before Robertson Barracks closes for good in 2029 as part of a Ministry of Defence restructure.