Regiment set to march through Bootle
THE Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment are set to parade through Bootle on Tuesday, June 20 to celebrate the council’s decision to award them the Freedom of the Borough of Sefton.
An extra-ordinary Council meeting will be held earlier on the same day at Bootle Town Hall where councillors are expected to vote in favour of honouring them with the special award.
Following the meeting, the Regiment will parade through Bootle at around 6.45pm and then be inspected outside Bootle Town Hall by the Mayor of Sefton, Cllr Dave Robinson, the Colonel of the Regiment, Brigadier Peter Rafferty and the Lord Lieutenant of Merseyside, Dame Lorna Muirhead. This will be followed by a civic reception.
Sefton Council agreed in January, 2017 that the Freedom of the Borough be conferred on The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment.
The Council had very close ties with two of the Regiment’s antecedents, the King’s Regiment’s and the Queen’s Lancashire Regiment. Of note, both the Queen’s and the Regimental Colour from the 7th battalion of The King’s Regiment (Liverpool) are laid up in Bootle Town Hall. The names of many of the Regiment’s fallen from both World Wars are also displayed on the borough’s various war memorials.
More recently, Captain Matt Titchener was commemorated on the war memorial in Southport. He was originally commissioned into the King’s Regiment and was sadly killed in Basra, Iraq in 2003, whilst serving in the Royal Military Police. In 2016 the commemorative stone for Private Arthur Proctor VC of the King’s (Liverpool Regiment) was also laid in King’s Garden, Bootle.
Mayor of Sefton, Cllr Dave Robinson, said: "The history surrounding Sefton and The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment goes back many, many years.
"It is therefore a great honour to acknowledge the Regiment's services by granting the Freedom of the Borough which I hope will enhance and develop further our already strong relationship.
"On June 20 the Regiment is exercising their right to march in the borough which will be a great spectacle. Hopefully as many people as possible will line the streets of Bootle and really support the Regiment, the 'Lions of England’, as they officially receive the Freedom of Sefton."
Brigadier Peter Rafferty, Colonel of the Regiment, said: "The Regiment has long and close associations with the borough of Sefton, which we cherish.
It is therefore a great honour for these links to be formally recognised with the granting of the borough’s Freedom and a privilege for us now to exercise our new Freedom by marching through the borough."
The award of the Honorary Freedom of the Borough does not convey with it any legal rights or responsibilities, other than a ceremonial role at civic functions. The award dates back to the middle ages when Freemen had commercial privileges and a route into a position of power in a town or city.
The granting of a Freedom to a Regiment, however, gives it the right, privilege, honour and distinction of marching through the streets of the borough on all ceremonial occasions with colours flying, bands playing, drums beating and bayonets fixed.