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Freedom of the City Parade for returning troops

Over 200 soldiers will take part in a Freedom of the City parade in Nottingham city centre on Monday 20 January 2014 to honour returning soldiers from Afghanistan. 

The Parade, featuring the 1st Regiment Royal Horse Artillery and, in particular, E Battery Royal Horse Artillery, will travel from St Mary’s Church, in the Lace Market, starting at 12.15pm and arriving in the Old Market Square at 12.30pm for the presentation of medals.    

The Parade will also include 22 horses and two gun carriages from The Kings Troop Royal Horse Artillery and the band of the Kings Division.  A gun salute will be fired from Nottingham Castle to signal the start and conclusion of the parade. 

The returning soldiers from Afghanistan will be presented with their medals in the Old Market Square before being invited to a private ceremony in the Council House with their families and military personnel. 

E Battery Royal Horse Artillery, which recruits its soldiers from Nottinghamshire, has a particular significance at it is one of the only surviving units to have fought in The Great War, and was the Battery which fired the first shot in aggression that signalled the commencement of the fighting. A first world war gun, identical to that which fired the first shot, will be paraded as part of the event.

Nottingham launched its county-wide Great War commemoration programme, titled Trent to Trenches, on Armistice Day in November 2013.  Throughout 2014 there will be a wide range of events and activities taking place across the city and county to mark the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of The Great War in 1914.  These will highlight how the conflict was a catalyst for huge social and economic change in the communities of Nottinghamshire, and provide a lasting legacy for future generations of this important time in the history of the country.

Highlights include:

  • A major exhibition at Nottingham Castle (26 July to 16 November) exploring the experiences of Nottinghamshire people, at home and in the trenches of the Western Front, through powerful visual images and artefacts.
  • The ‘Fields of Battle’ open air exhibition (autumn 2014) – located in Nottingham city centre, making its first UK public appearance outside London. Using photography, the images reveal the landscapes of battle to illustrate the stories of some of the soldiers and to show how nature has healed the battlefields.

Councillor Merlita Bryan, Lord Mayor of Nottingham, said:

“As a city we are proud of our local soldiers and it is only fitting that they should be honoured with the Freedom of the City.  The Parade will bring home to us the tremendous debt we owe our troops both today and in the past.”

Full details of the Trent to Trenches programme can be found at on our leisure site here, http://www.experiencenottinghamshire.com/trent-to-trenches

Posted on 13 January 2014

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