The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment recently paraded in Bootle, Merseyside, to celebrate the Regiment being bestowed the Freedom of the Borough of Sefton in recognition of its close association with Sefton.
The Regiment will paraded through Bootle and was then inspected outside Bootle Town Hall by the Mayor of Sefton Councillor Dave Robinson, the Colonel of the Regiment Brigadier Peter Rafferty and the Lord-Lieutenant of Merseyside Dame Lorna Muirhead. The parade was 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 7th Battalion 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 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.
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.”
4th Battalion The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment (4 LANCS) is the Regiment’s Reserve battalion, and recruit Reservists from across the North West of England. For more information about 4 LANCS and how you can get involved, visit www.army.mod.uk/infantry/regiments/29499.aspx
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.