Soldiers’ freedom parade at Great Yorkshire

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Soldiers from the Yorkshire Regiment 1st Battalion will exercise their freedom of Harrogate at this year’s Great Yorkshire Show.

On July 10, the first day of the event, 185 soldiers will parade around the show’s Main Ring wearing combat dress, with Colours flying and bayonets fixed.

There will also be a silence to mark the Regiment’s recent losses.

Nigel Pulling, the Yorkshire Agricultural Society’s chief executive, said: “The 1st Battalion returns from active service in Afghanistan just before the Great Yorkshire Show, and we are delighted and extremely proud to honour them.

“It will be a unique occasion as it is the first time that the Regiment has exercised its freedom at an organised event. “

Members of the Regiment’s 3rd Battalion, who do not return from Afghanistan until October, will also be watching the parade thanks to a live stream on the show’s website.

From their base, they will see the soldiers march under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Dan Bradbury. The Band of the King’s Division will precede them in the march around the arena and the Mayor of Harrogate will take the salute.

Traditionally regiments exercise their freedom at the end of operational tours. The Yorkshire Regiment last did so in Harrogate in 2009 on returning from Iraq. The Freedom of the Borough is the highest gift a council can offer.

The Great Yorkshire Show marks the start of a week of homecoming parades for the Regiment – Beverley and Bridlington on July 11, Bradford and Leeds on July 12, York on July 13 and Hull on July 14.

Tickets for the three-day Great Yorkshire Show are available through www.greatyorkshireshow.co.uk