Army regiment to get top civic honour

Officers and Soldiers from 101st (Northumbrian) Regiment Royal Artillery patrolling during Exercise STEEL SABRE 16 at Otterburn Training Area. Picture by Jonny Thompson.
Officers and Soldiers from 101st (Northumbrian) Regiment Royal Artillery patrolling during Exercise STEEL SABRE 16 at Otterburn Training Area. Picture by Jonny Thompson.

An Army regiment is to be honoured with the Freedom of Northumberland.

The 101st (Northumbrian) Regiment Royal Artillery will march through the streets of Blyth on April 30 to receive the county’s highest civic honour.

Residents are encouraged to show their support by turning out to celebrate and give them a warm welcome.

The parade starts at noon at Blyth Quayside and will follow a route along Bridge Street/Waterloo Road into Blyth’s Market Square.

There will be a short ceremonial presentation of the Freedom scroll, presented by Coun Kath Nisbet, civic head of Northumberland County Council, followed by inspection of the Troops.

The route of the parade will be lined by cadets from the Northumbria Army Cadet Force and military music will be played by the 5th Royal Regiment of Fusiliers band.

The Army’s only Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) Regiment, 101 Regiment, “The Geordie and West Riding Gunners” are the Royal Artillery’s Army Reserve unit in the north east of England.

Coun Nisbet said: “We are very proud of the County’s close association with the 101st (Northumbrian) Regiment Royal Artillery, who have a base in Blyth itself.

“By granting the Freedom we are saying thank you for all that they do, and we hope that residents will come along and join us in giving the Regiment the welcome they deserve.”

Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Sean Grant, Royal Artillery, said: “It is an honour to have the Freedom of Northumberland bestowed on 101st (Northumbrian) Regiment Royal Artillery in the year that her Britannic Majesty’s Royal Regiment of Artillery celebrates its 300th anniversary.”

Spectators are invited to come along and to arrive early to avoid any congestion.

Temporary road closures will be in place in the immediate area of the parade – further details will be available nearer to the time.