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Reserve Forces & Cadets Association
Northern Ireland



15 January 2016

Mid and East Mid and East Antrim Borough Council will confer the first ever Freedom of the Borough in its history on B (North Irish Horse) Squadron, The Scottish and North Irish Yeomanry.

The Mayor, Councillor Billy Ashe, is shown above welcoming Lieutenant Joshua Campbell, B (North Irish Horse) Squadron, Scottish and North Irish Yeomanry to his announcement today that the actual Freedom will be conferred on Saturday 30th January with celebrations to include a march-past by the Squadron.

Mid and East Antrim Borough Mayor, Councillor Billy Ashe, said: “It is a matter of great pride for me that the first Freedom of the Borough of Mid and East Antrim will be officially given to B (North Irish Horse) Squadron, The Scottish and North Irish Yeomanry. This is the highest accolade and honour any Council can bestow on any group or individual.

“The Mid and East Antrim towns of Ballymena, Carrickfergus and Larne have a proud military tradition, with close links between the military services and the people. 

“By conferring the Freedom of the Borough on North Irish Horse we are honouring the service and dedication of the present Regiment and those that have served in the past.

“The ceremony will take place on Saturday 30th January and will be marked with civic celebrations and includes a special parade and march-past by members of the Regiment through the historic seaside town of Carrickfergus.”

Speaking in advance of the actual event, Col. Dr. Melfort, Regimental Honorary Colonel The Scottish and North Irish Yeomanry commented: “We are deeply honoured to have been recognised by the Mid and East Antrim Borough Council and recognise and appreciate the significance of being the first recipients of the Freedom of the Borough.

“The North Irish Horse has a distinguished record of service that continues today as part of The Scottish and North Irish Yeomanry. This public recognition from the Borough Council affords us an opportunity to reflect on the sacrifices made by our forbearers and serves as an acknowledgement of the continued support from the public that is critical to the success of both the Regiment and the Army Reserve as a whole.”

While the Scottish and North Irish Yeomanry is one of the newest regiments in the British Army, the North Irish Horse was established following the Boer War. It has since had a long and distinguished history particularly when, in 1941, it was equipped with Churchill Tanks during World War II.

These were designed and produced by Harland and Wolff, who had one of their factories on the Woodburn Road, Carrickfergus. A restored tank from that era is now on permanent display at the town’s Marine Gardens. Appropriately, it was used today as the backdrop for the launch event, with the Mayor welcoming serving personnel from B (North Irish Horse) Squadron, Scottish & North Irish Yeomanry.

At the forthcoming Freedom ceremony on the 30th January (2pm), robed Council Members will witness the reading of the Resolution and the presentation of the Certificate of Election and Admission as Honorary Burgesses to B (North Irish Horse) Squadron by The Mayor.

The Mayor Cllr Billy Ashe will then invite Col. Dr. Melfort, Regimental Honorary Colonel The Scottish and North Irish Yeomanry from B (North Irish Horse) Squadron to accept the Register of Freemen and address the assembly.

The guest of honour will be the Lord Lieutenant for Country Antrim, Joan Christie, OBE, who is the Queen’s official representative. She will take the salute at the parade and march-past at 3.30pm. 
This parade will form up in Antrim Street, and parade along Marine Highway to Quay Road, then via Albert Road and Lancasterian Street returning to Carrickfergus Civic Centre for a reception and civic dinner.

Members of the public will be able to view the parade along Marine Highway and at other points in Carrickfergus.

Shown below, are Councillor John Stewart, (Carrickfergus) who is also a Squadron Trooper, Trooper Danny Morgan, (Whitehead) Trooper Ryan Kerr (Monkstown) and Sergeant Stephen Henry, (Larne), pictured welcoming the news this afternoon.