We’re proud to have 47th Regiment in our midst

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In an area traditionally dominated by the Royal Navy, it can be easy to forget that we also have an army regiment based at Thorney Island, Emsworth.

But we are proud to have the 47th Regiment Royal Artillery in our midst and delighted that it looks set to be given the freedom of the borough of Havant.

The regiment has a long connection to the town, regularly taking part in the annual Remembrance Sunday parade and the St George’s Day parade through the streets of Emsworth.

Now a planned medals parade in Havant in June could also include a ceremony where the regiment is honoured and presented with a framed scroll.

We think it’s an excellent idea and trust that a debate about the plan at the next council cabinet meeting will be merely a rubber-stamping exercise.

It’s a sign of the straitened times in which we live that the cost of any civic service could have been an issue.

Indeed the idea of giving 47th Regiment the freedom of the borough has been discussed before and, although the council supported the idea, it felt it could not justify the expense.

But now the regiment has come up with its own plans for a medals parade for 10 Battery currently serving in Afghanistan.

It has said it will manage the event and liaise with the police on any safety measures. This means the council can use the occasion to bestow the freedom of the borough without any associated cost.

We look forward to seeing 47th Regiment marching proudly through the streets of Havant and feel sure many people will want to turn out to line the route and show their appreciation of those who have bravely served their country overseas.

Captain James Burnett from 47th Regiment talks of the honour and privilege for the regiment in being allowed to hold a medals parade in Havant.

But we say that the privilege is ours, to be able to say thank you for the work it does and for being such a valued part of the local community.

Members of 47th Regiment, we salute you.