Soldiers of 1st Battalion the Mercian Regiment took part in their first parade since the merger of 1st and 2nd Battalion in Chester today, before further parades in Tamworth and Nottingham. They were alongside 1st Battalion, the Colour Party and The Band of the Brigade of Gurkhas. 1 Mercian exercised their Freedom of Chester, which was granted by Chester City Council in 2008, giving the Regiment the right to march through the streets of the City with bayonets fixed, drums beating and colours flying. The Parade stepped off from Chester Castle and included troops giving a standing salute at Chester Town Hall.
The Chairman of Cheshire West and Chester Council, the Lord Mayor of Chester, Lord Lieutenant of Cheshire and the Dean of Chester Cathedral met with some of the Regiment to hear more about their recent deployment and to give thanks for their service. Councillor Bob Rudd, Chairman of Cheshire West and Chester Council, said: “The granting of the Freedom of the City is entirely a ceremonial honour, but is the oldest and highest civic honour that can be bestowed on a military unit. The historic close ties between the Mercian Regiment and the borough are very important to us and it is great to welcome them back again to parade through Chester. The Mercian Regiment last paraded through Chester in 2018 when they left for Cyprus.”