Freedom of Weston-super-Mare to be granted to 40 Commando Royal Marines

Freedom of Weston-super-Mare to be granted to 40 Commando Royal Marines

The Freedom of Weston-super-Mare will be granted to the 40 Commando Royal Marines unit as part of a spectacular event amid Armed Forces Day celebrations on Saturday 21 June.

Thousands of people are anticipated to line the streets as the 500-strong 40 Commando, Royal Marines, march along Regent Street at 10.30am for the historic ceremony, which will take place at 11am in Princess Royal Square, opposite the Grand Pier on Saturday 21 June. The Mayor of Weston-super-Mare, Cllr Rosslyn Willis, will confer Freedom of the Town to 40 Commando, Royal Marines, and will be accompanied by Lord Lieutenant of Somerset, Lady Gass, and Brigadier Dunham, Deputy Commandant General of the Royal Marines.

At the conclusion of the ceremony at 11.40am, spectators will be encouraged to line the parade route as a full military procession takes place, with 40 Commando parading in a loop around the seafront and into Oxford Street, led by the Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines.

Lt Col Alex Janzen OBE RM, Commanding Officer of 40 Commando Royal Marines, said: “40 Commando has always enjoyed a strong relationship with Weston-super-Mare and it will be a great honour to be awarded the Freedom of the Town on the 21 June, to further cement that relationship. Many of the unit’s marines come from the local area so it will be a very special and proud day; we hope people will come and support us, as they have done over the years.”  

The Mayor of Weston-super-Mare, Cllr Mrs Rosslyn Willis, said: “As Town Mayor, I’m truly privileged to grant the Freedom of the Town to 40 Commando, Royal Marines. This is a remarkable event for Weston to be part of and a wonderful way to say thank you to our serving troops.”

The Royal Marines are celebrating their 350th anniversary this year and, as part of that, the Royal Marines 1664 Challenge Team will be arriving after the ceremony to continue their attempt at running 1664 kilometres around the UK, having previously skied, sailed and cycled 1664 kilometres between different countries in Europe over the last couple of months. They will be ably supported on the day by members of 40 Commando, who will be running a marathon finishing on the seafront at Weston-super-Mare. 

Malcolm Nicholson, Weston-super-Mare Town Clerk, who will be reading the Freedom scroll, said: “I’m pleased to be involved in such a memorable event for the town. This is the first time that the Freedom has been granted in Weston since 1969 so it really will be a very special occasion. With the Royal Marines Band playing, I’m also confident that it will be a very enjoyable one.”

The Mayor of Weston-super-Mare, Councillor Mrs Rosslyn Willis, added: “Each unit of the armed forces are only able to accept the Freedom of two areas, so it’s a great honour that 40 Commando have accepted the Freedom of Weston-super-Mare. I urge everyone join us in town on Saturday 21 June for this extraordinary and spectacular occasion.”

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Published 19 June 2014