Page last updated at 14:28 GMT, Saturday, 28 November 2009

Regiment given freedom of Dales

The Mercian Regiment has been given the Freedom of the Derbyshire Dales.

The district council approved the move at a meeting, saying it was important the soldiers were shown how much respect they were held in.

The regiment will march through Matlock next year and the honour will allow it to parade in other nearby towns in the future.

The regiment has been serving a six-month tour of duty in Afghanistan this year.

Council chairman Geoff Stevens said the Derbyshire Dales felt a connection with the regiment.

"I think it is a symbolic honour to them really for all the past association with the district," he said.

"And also the amount of respect that the people in this area have towards the regiment."

The regiment's parade through Matlock town centre - organised by Derbyshire County Council - is scheduled for the morning of 19 March, followed by a reception for local soldiers and their families.

The Mercian Regiment was formed on 1 September 2007 and incorporated the Worcestershire & Sherwood Foresters Regiment, now 2 Mercian (Worcesters and Foresters).



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