‘Support our soldiers’: Crowds urged to turn out for regiment’s march through Hartlepool

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PEOPLE are being urged to show their support for soldiers who will march through the town.

3rd Battalion The Rifles, which formed in 2007, will exercise the right to parade on Saturday, March 21 after being given Freedom of the Borough last September.

The event will start in Victory Square, where The Rifles’s band will be playing from 10:30am, followed at 11am by a presentation ceremony, an inspection of the troops and then the parade.

Major Chris Lawton, The Rifles’ Regimental Secretary, said: “The strong relationship between The Rifles and the people of Hartlepool is highly valued by us all.

“The Rifles and reserve element, D Rifles Company The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, are immensely proud to have been invited to exercise their freedom by marching through the town.

“Being granted the Freedom last year was especially poignant for us as it came during the 100th anniversary year of the German bombardment of the Hartlepools – an action in which our forebears the Durham Light Infantry took part, and in which they lost six of their brave men in the defence of the town.”

The Durham Light Infantry was awarded Freedom of the Borough in 1958 for its part in defending the town from the German Bombardment during the First World War.

Hartlepool Ceremonial Mayor, Councillor Stephen Akers-Belcher, said: “I hope as many people as possible turn out to greet the parade and show their appreciation of the courage and dedication of our local regiment.”

Details of the parade route will be revealed at a later date.