A SPECTACULAR military parade will make its way through Ellesmere Port town centre as the newly-formed Mercian Regiment is awarded the Freedom of the Borough.
After initial hopes of holding the event in July were dashed, the parade involving 350 servicemen and women has now been rearranged and will take place on Friday, September 26.
Borough mayor Cllr Keith Butcher will greet the regiment at Civic Square where he will receive the salute and present them with a scroll granting them the freedom.
The 22nd (Cheshire) Regiment had a long-standing link to Ellesmere Port and Neston having been awarded the Freedom of the Borough in 1986.
However, in September 2007 the Cheshires merged with the Staffordshire and the Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters regiments to form The Mercian Regiment.
As a result, 1st Battalion The 22nd (Cheshire) Regiment became 1st Battalion The Mercian Regiment (Cheshire), thus retaining its proud link with Cheshire in its title.
Soon after, 1 Mercian deployed to Iraq for a six-month tour of duty. One company of about 120 men was based in Baghdad, while other elements were deployed in Basra and at the southern port of Umm Qasr.
Cllr Butcher said: “It is a great honour to welcome the servicemen and women to Ellesmere Port and to grant the new Mercian Regiment the Freedom of the Borough.
“We were delighted the regiment was able to rearrange the parade and know that lots of residents will look forward to giving them a warm welcome.”
Lieutenant Colonel Ian Cave, Commanding Officer, 1 Mercian, said: “It has been some time since we have had the opportunity to march in Ellesmere Port and the first time since the formation of 1st Battalion The Mercian Regiment (Cheshire). It will be a source of great pride for many of our soldiers to march through their home town.”
Further details about the parade route and arrangements for the day will be made available next month.