Past and present members of 56 Signal Squadron Army Reserve unit (TA) will parade through Eastbourne next Saturday (January 18) to mark the group’s long association with the town.
The Squadron, which recruits soldiers locally for the Army Reserve, received the Freedom of the Borough in recognition of its distinguished service to Eastbourne in April 2000. In order to celebrate the association with Eastbourne, the Squadron will exercise the Honorary Freedom of the Borough by parading, along with the Corps Band, through the town.
It was announced in July 2013 that the Squadron is to be disbanded and, although a date has yet to be fixed, it will be before April 2016. The town’s MP Stephen Lloyd said at the time he was ‘saddened’ by the news, which the Ministry of Defence said was ‘for the Army Reserve to become a fully integrated component of the British Army’.
It was announced that the B Company of the 3rd Battalion The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment will move into the Seaside centre.
Leader of the Council, Cllr David Tutt, said, “I know I speak for the whole town when I thank 56 Signal Squadron for its loyal and dedicated service to Eastbourne, which stretches back many years, and to all the men and women recruited locally who have served their country with distinction in conflicts such as Iraq and Afghanistan. The town has been honoured to call itself home to the Squadron and I would encourage as many people as possible to attend the Freedom parade and show their respect and appreciation.”
The parade will depart from the pier at 11.15am, turn into Terminus Road by Harry Ramsden’s and continue straight along Terminus Road, through the pedestrian precinct along the bus lane to the station where it will turn into Grove Road and continue along to the Town Hall, where the Lord Lieutenant and the Mayor will take the salute.