Cheering crowds lined the streets of Hoddesdon on Sunday 2 July to wave union flags in support of the Royal Anglian Regiment’s Freedom of Entry March.
The ceremony saw the Council presenting the Freedom of Entry to the Borough to the Regiment, which gives it the privilege of marching into the area ‘with drums beating, colours flying, and bayonets fixed’, in recognition of its service as the County’s official regiment.
The town centre was adorned with union flag bunting for the occasion and the crowds were treated to the wonderful sounds of the ‘Corps of Drums’ in anticipation of the Regiment’s arrival into the area.
Preceded by their marching band and their mascot, ‘The Poacher’, the Regiment left the Spotlight Theatre at 10am, and marched along the High Street, into the town centre.
The march halted at the Jubilee Shelter for an official inspection by the Mayor of Broxbourne, Councillor Carol Crump, and the Regiment’s Lieutenant Colonel Bruce Weston.
Leader of the Council, Councillor Mark Mills-Bishop, spoke of the gallantry and dedication demonstrated by all of the Regiment’s service men and women throughout the years.
Before presenting the Freedom of the Borough to the Lieutenant Colonel, the Mayor thanked the Regiment for its commitment and hard work, saying: “The Freedom of the Borough is the highest distinction we can bestow. I am proud, on behalf of Broxbourne’s residents, to honour the Royal Anglian Regiment which has earned a special place in the hearts of the people of Broxbourne for their bravery, commitment and sacrifice.”
Lieutenant Colonel Weston said: “Being granted the Freedom of Entry into the Borough is a tremendous honour and one that we as a battalion take very seriously. The second battalion of the Royal Anglian Regiment, known affectionately as ‘The Poachers’, are a rarity in today’s modern army in that we retain strong links to our home counties. Our strength is deeply rooted and intertwined with the support of the counties from which we originate recruit and who we represent.
He added “We can only achieve success through our continued and heartfelt support, so once again thank you indeed”.
The special public event drew to a close after the regiment marched back to the Spotlight Theatre where a private Civic Reception was held.
This event was the highlight of the Council’s World War One centenary commemorations, a programme of events and celebrations that have been taking place since 2014. The programme continues into 2018, the centenary of the end of World War One.
An official video of this special event will be added to the Council’s website in due course. A live recording of the march is available on the Council’s Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/ThisisBroxbourne.