THE Royal Regiment of Scotland will be granted the Freedom of the Borders at a special ceremony in Melrose on Saturday and Alasdair Hutton, Scottish Borders Council convener, is hoping for a good turnout.
The Regiment will be represented at the event, which begins at 11am at Gibson Park in Melrose, by members of the two Battalions which recruit in the Borders area - the First Battalion, the Royal Scots Borderers and the Sixth Battalion, 52nd Lowland, the TA Battalion.
The ceremony will begin with a formal inspection of the soldiers on parade by Councillor Hutton - a former TA paratrooper- with the Colonel of the Regiment Lieutenant General Andrew Graham CBE, the three Borders Lord Lieutenants Captain the Hon Gerald Maitland Carew, Major Alexander Trotter and Captain David Younger and the Commanding Officers of the two Battalions on parade.
Councillor Hutton will then address the parade before inviting SBC chief executive David Hume to read the Scroll granting the Freedom.
After the convener presents the framed Scroll to Lt General Graham, he will reply on behalf of the Regiment before a Prayer of Dedication and The Lord’s Prayer, followed by the National Anthem and a blessing.
Then the parade will step off from Gibson Park at about 11.45am, led by the Pipes and Drums of the First Battalion and the Lowland Band of the Regiment, to march through Melrose by way of Buccleuch Street and Abbey Street to the High Street where the salute will be taken by the Colonel of the Regiment and the convener.
Councillor Alasdair Hutton said: “Happily a lot of people have shown great interest in honouring our soldiers and I hope a very great many will turn out to cheer them on as they exercise their new Freedom for the first time.”