On Saturday June 21, 40 Commando, Royal Marines will be awarded the Freedom of the Town of Weston-super-Mare and then this will be exercised during a parade through the streets of the town. 40 Commando was first affiliated to Weston-super-Mare 4 years ago and enjoys a very strong relationship with the town.
The mood will be one of immense pride as the 500-strong members of the Royal Marines and Royal Navy will march in a full military procession starting at Regent Street at 10:30am. The parade will be led by the Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines.
The procession will halt at Princess Royal Square, opposite the Grand Pier at 11am when the Mayor of Weston-super-Mare Councillor Mrs Rosslyn Willis will formally confer the Freedom of the Town on 40 Commando. She will be joined by a number of local dignitaries including the Lord Lieutenant of Somerset and the Deputy Commandant General of the Royal Marines.
At the conclusion of the ceremony at 11:40am the procession will then proudly parade through the heart of Weston-super-Mare with bayonets fixed, drums beating and colours flying. As the Royal Marines march through there will be a flypast by a helicopter from Commando Helicopter Force and an 11 Gun salute by 29 Commando Artillery Unit on the beach near to the Grand Pier. Two Landing Craft Air Cushion hovercrafts from 1 Assault Group Royal Marines will also add to the exciting atmosphere. To view a map of the route please click here.
The Mayor will take the salute as the parade arrives in Oxford Street.
Lt Col Alex Janzen OBE RM, Commanding Officer of 40 Commando Royal Marines, said: “40 Commando has always enjoyed a strong relationship with Weston-super-Mare and it will be a great honour to be awarded the Freedom of the Town on June 21, to further cement that relationship. “ Many of the unit’s Marines come from the local area so it will be a very special and proud day; we hope people will come and support us, as they have done over the years.”
The Mayor of Weston-super-Mare, Cllr Mrs Rosslyn Willis, said: “As Town Mayor, I’m truly privileged to grant the Freedom of the Town to 40 Commando, Royal Marines. This is a remarkable event for Weston to be part of and a wonderful way to say thank you to our serving troops.”
“Each unit of the Armed Forces are only able to accept the Freedom of two areas, so it’s a great honour that 40 Commando have accepted the Freedom of Weston-super-Mare. I urge everyone to join us in town on Saturday June 21 for this extraordinary and spectacular occasion.”
The Royal Marines are celebrating their 350th anniversary this year and, as part of that, the Royal Marines 1664 Challenge Team will be arriving after the ceremony to continue their attempt at running 1664 kilometres around the UK, having previously skied, sailed and cycled 1664 kilometres between different countries in Europe over the last couple of months. They will be ably supported on the day by members of 40 Commando, who will be running a marathon finishing on the seafront at Weston-super-Mare
Royal Marine Edward Smithson, 12 Troop, Delta Company said “The lads are now in the final stages of the challenge, having already, skied, sailed, cycled, and kayaked nearly 3000 miles, and what they have done is such a huge feat of endurance and the money being raised is for a really worthy charity, and the challenge is such a typical Royal Marine way of celebrating our 350th birthday! “I look forward to cheering the team on as they complete another 30 miles into Weston-super-Mare”.
Please click on the attached links below for more information concerning the Royal Marines 1664 challenge.
The Freedom of the Town is one of a number of spectacular events in the Weston-super-Mare area during the weekend where visitors of all ages will have a unique opportunity to see the Armed Forces up close. Weston Air Festival and Armed Forces Day celebrations take place on Saturday June 21 and Sunday June 22 on Weston Seafront. Throughout the weekend there will be many military air displays including the Red Arrows who are performing two thrilling precision flying displays on Saturday and Sunday and the return of the mighty Avro Vulcan bomber on Sunday. Other aircraft present include the Spitfire, Hurricane and Dakota.