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Freedom of the Borough

The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment will parade in Bootle to celebrate the Regiment being bestowed the Freedom of the Borough of Sefton in recognition of its close association with Sefton.

To mark the occasion, an extra-ordinary Council meeting will be held on Tuesday, June 20 at 6:30pm at Bootle Town Hall where councillors will consider the following motion:

“That in accordance with Section 249 (5) of the Local Government Act 1972, this Council wishes to place on record its high appreciation of, and the debt of gratitude of the Borough to The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment and in the light of the long and honourable association between the Borough of Sefton and The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment, the Council resolves that the Honorary Freedom of the Borough be conferred on The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment and that it be granted the right, privilege, honour and distinction of marching through the streets of the Borough on all ceremonial occasions with colours flying, bands playing, drums beating and bayonets fixed.”

Following the meeting, the Regiment will parade through Bootle and then be inspected outside Bootle Town Hall by the Mayor of Sefton, Cllr Dave Robinson, the Colonel of the Regiment, Brigadier Peter Rafferty and the Lord Lieutenant of Merseyside, Dame Lorna Muirhead. This will be followed by a civic reception.

Sefton Council agreed in January, 2017 that the Freedom of the Borough be conferred on The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment.  

The Council had very close ties with two of the Regiment’s antecedents, the King’s Regiment’s and the Queen’s Lancashire Regiment. Of note, both the Queen’s and the Regimental Colour from the 7th battalion of The King’s Regiment (Liverpool) are laid up in Bootle Town Hall. The names of many of the Regiment’s fallen from both World Wars are also displayed on the borough’s various war memorials. 

More recently, Captain Matt Titchener was commemorated on the war memorial in Southport. He was originally commissioned into the King’s Regiment and was sadly killed in Basra, Iraq in 2003, whilst serving in the Royal Military Police.  In 2016 the commemorative stone for Private Arthur Proctor VC of the King’s (Liverpool Regiment) was also laid in King’s Garden, Bootle. 

Mayor of Sefton, Cllr Dave Robinson, said: “The history surrounding Sefton and The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment goes back many, many years.

“It is therefore a great honour to acknowledge the Regiment’s services by granting the Freedom of the Borough which I hope will enhance and develop further our already strong relationship.

“On June 20 the Regiment is exercising their right to march in the borough which will be a great spectacle. Hopefully as many people as possible will line the streets of Bootle and really support the Regiment, the ‘Lions of England’, as they officially receive the Freedom of Sefton.”

Brigadier Peter Rafferty, Colonel of the Regiment, said: “The Regiment has long and close associations with the borough of Sefton, which we cherish.  It is therefore a great honour for these links to be formally recognised with the granting of the borough’s Freedom and a privilege for us now to exercise our new Freedom by marching through the borough.”

The award of the Honorary Freedom of the Borough does not convey with it any legal rights or responsibilities, other than a ceremonial role at civic functions. The award dates back to the middle ages when Freemen had commercial privileges and a route into a position of power in a town or city. The granting of a Freedom to a Regiment, however, gives it the right, privilege, honour and distinction of marching through the streets of the borough on all ceremonial occasions with colours flying, bands playing, drums beating and bayonets fixed.

Past recipients of the Freedom of the Borough of Sefton include:
2004 – Donald “Ginger” McCain
2006 – James Carragher
The Freedom of the Borough (Freedom of Entry) has also been bestowed on the following Service Units:
1982 – No. 238 (Sefton) Squadron, 156 Regiment, Royal Corps of Transport, which was subsequently succeeded by No. 238 (Sefton) Squadron, 156 (North West) Transport Regiment, Royal Logistic Corps (Volunteers) in 2001
2011 – RAF Woodvale

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