Yorkshire town to bestow 'Freedom of Entry' to prestigious Coldstream Guards

Doncaster Council will award a prestigious military regiment the ‘Freedom of Entry’ to the borough.

Councillors are expected to hand the honour to the Coldstream Guards at a meeting on Thursday, July 15.

The Freedom of Entry is the highest honour that the council can give to a military unit.

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Conferring the Freedom of Entry to the borough to the Coldstream Guards would allow Doncaster residents to ‘recognise and celebrate’ the ‘long and proud history’ that the town shares with the regiment.

Coldstream Guards

Following the presentation of the Freedom of Entry, it is likely there would be an outdoor ceremony that would incorporate a march through Doncaster by the Coldstream Guards.

In recent years the Coldstream Guards have served in Malaya, Aden, Cyprus, Northern Ireland, Bosnia, The Gulf, Kosovo and Afghanistan.

Since the Boer war (1899-01) a Doncaster man has served with the Regimental in every conflict or operation it has undertaken. Proof of this can be found on a large number of war graves and war memorials spread in and around the Borough.

The Coldstream Guards Association was formed in 1913 as a regimental charity. Doncaster’s branch number nineteen was formed in 1934. The branch meets regularly at the Comrades of the Great War social club on the second Tuesday of the month. It has a current strength of a hundred and 125 former Guardsmen.

As well as raising funds for its own veteran’s it donates a percentage of monies raised to an annually nominated charity which is currently, the internationally acclaimed deaf school.

Over the past twenty-nine years, on or as near to St George’s Day as possible, veterans of the regiment descend on Doncaster in vast numbers for the 2nd Battalion Annual Remembrance weekend – one of only two functions held outside of London by former Guardsmen.

David Chorlton, Civic Office manager, said: “The Freedom of Entry is granted by full Council to a military contingent and bears the same honour and respect as granting the Honorary Freedom of the Borough to an individual. Freedom of Entry allows the unit the right to march through the town bearing arms, if they so choose.

“In accordance with the Council’s protocol a panel consisting of the Civic Mayor and leaders of each of the political groups met to consider the nomination and gave it their full and unequivocal support.

“The decision to bestow this honour must be approved by a formal resolution of the Full Council. A vote will be taken and if it is supported by no less than two thirds of those members present then ‘Freedom of Entry’ will be granted to the nominee.”