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County regiment to be granted Freedom of Shrewsbury

Shropshire’s county regiment, The Rifles, will be granted the Freedom of Shrewsbury by the town’s Mayor next week.

Councillor Ioan Jones will welcome The Rifles on Wednesday with a service at St Chad’s Church at 1pm.

Following the service, the troops will parade onto St Chad’s Terrace at 2pm, before marching past the Mayor at the entrance to the Quarry Park

The troops, led by the Band and Bugles, will then march down Claremont Bank, along Smithfield Road, up Castle Gates and Castle Street, past St Mary’s Church, down Dogpole and along High Street. 

As they pass the Square they will salute HM Lord Lieutenant of Shropshire, Sir Algernon Heber-Percy, and the senior Rifles officer, Brigadier Edward Chamberlain.

The parade will then continue down Shoplatch, along Barker Street and across Welsh Bridge, turning right into Frankwell to the Guildhall where the Mayor will present a Freedom Scroll to the Regiment.

Members of the public are invited to attend the church service, and to line the parade route.

A series of rolling road closures will be in place from approximately 1.30pm until 3pm to allow the parade to proceed safely. There may, therefore be some minor delays to traffic.

Mayor of Shrewsbury, Councillor Ioan Jones said: “Having served with the Light Infantry for 27 years I am honoured to be involved in this ceremony, where the right to parade through our beautiful town will be granted to The Rifles, successor regiment of the Kings Shropshire Light Infantry and the Light Infantry. I am sure that the troops will feel proud to take part in the parade, as I have done myself when marching through Shrewsbury.” 

Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Trelawny added: “The Rifles is extremely proud and honoured that Shrewsbury has seen fit to extend Freedom of the Town to the Regiment.”

The Rifles is the largest infantry regiment in the British Army with five regular, and two reserve battalions.

It was formed in 2007 from an amalgamation of a number of regiments, including The Light Infantry. The Light Infantry itself formed in 1968 and included in its antecedents the King’s Shropshire Light Infantry, which was originally raised in Shrewsbury in 1759.

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