10th June 2024 | Lieutenancy News

PWRR Freedom Parade

Guildford commemorates the 80th Anniversary of D-Day

On Saturday 8th June, Surrey’s local regiment, The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment (PWRR) exercised the Freedom of the Borough of Guildford and also commemorated the 80th anniversary of D-Day.  This meant that the Regiment was able to march through the town with bayonets fixed, Colours flying and band playing. The 4th Battalion provided the majority of the officers and soldiers on parade; it has its headquarters in Redhill and one of its companies is located at Farnham.  The marching troops were accompanied by the Band of The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment.  The majority of those on parade were Army Reservists, who balance their normal civilian work with service in uniform for King and country.  Cadets from all 3 community cadet organisations, Sea Cadet Corps, Army Cadet Force and Royal Air Force Air Cadets lined the route along the High Street.  Many veterans and Service families were in the audience as well.

Their predecessor, The Queen’s Royal (West Surrey) Regiment, received the Freedom of Guildford back in 1945. The regiment also fought in Western Europe, including Normandy in 1944.

Guildford High Street 8th June 2024

As part of a moving outdoor service in front of Holy Trinity church, the Mayor of Guildford presented a print of the recently restored painting ‘The Queen’s Regiment Parade before the Mayor of Guildford, 1946’. It was a touching gift to give to the Deputy Colonel of The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment, Col (Rtd) Patrick Crowley MA MBE DL.

The Mayor of Guildford, Cllr Sallie Barker MBE said:

“The painting reflects our pride in our connection to The Queen’s Royal (West Surrey) Regiment and its successor, The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment, and the 4th Battalion here on parade.

“We re-affirm our support, encouragement and friendship with the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment and send our good wishes to the 4th Battalion and all those heading off on exercise next week.

“It’s fitting on the 80th Anniversary of D-Day that we recognise and say thank you for the sacrifice and service of all members of our Armed Forces.”

Reflecting on Saturday’s event, Lt Col S J Garmory said:

“The 4th Battalion The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment is immensely proud to exercise our Regimental Freedom of Guildford; a County town which is very close to our hearts.  As such, it is fantastic to see the level of support we have been afforded from the Borough Council, the Surrey Lieutenancy, the Holy Trinity Church, local Cadet Forces, local businesses and, of course, the people of Guildford!

“Today is particularly poignant as it occurs amongst the national recognition of the 80th Anniversary of D-Day. It is, therefore, only right and proper that we reflect on the achievements and sacrifices of our forebears. So, I shall conclude by circling back to the Parade itself. For any Regiment it is a great honour to exercise its Freedoms but for us, in the 4th Battalion, it is a fantastic privilege to do so with the proud people of Guildford!”

His Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant inspected the troops on the day said:

“It has been an excellent parade. Congratulations to Lieutenant Colonel Steve Garmory and the 4th Battalion; I wish them all the best on their forthcoming exercise in Germany. 

“I can assure you that the County of Surrey and Guildford appreciate the enormous contribution made by the Armed Forces in the Defence of this country.  On behalf of His Majesty thank you to both the Regiment and Guildford for this memorable event.”

The Freedom parade was a wonderful spectacle full of tradition and military ceremony. The streets were lined by cadets and well-wishers waving Union flags.

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