Training Regiment to receive Freedom of the City
Winchester is set to honour its military history as the Army Training Regiment, based at Sir John Moore Barracks on the outskirts of the city, march through the centre to the sound of drums beating, with swords drawn and bayonets fixed, to receive the Freedom of the City.
The ceremony will take place on Saturday 17 April from 11am and will focus on the Mayor presenting the regiment with the Freedom Scroll outside the Guildhall in the Broadway, Winchester.
The march will set off from Peninsula Barracks in Romsey Road at 11am, then go past the Westgate Tower, through the main shopping precinct and form up in the Broadway. After the presentation and salute to the Mayor, Cllr Jean Hammerton, the parade will reverse its route back to the Barracks.
"Throughout the last Millennium, Winchester has been one of the main operational, training and support centres of the British Army. Happily, Saturday's ceremony will reinforce those links and we look forward to continuing our friendly association with the Army for many years to come," said the Mayor.
Note to Editors
The City of Winchester is one of the British Army’s oldest homes. As the ancient capital of King Alfred’s Wessex it can trace back the military association over the centuries. The work of this monarch in uniting his kingdom against the threat of Viking invasion led to the formation of the first coherent army and navy. King Alfred’s model of a disciplined, educated and well-equipped fighting force to protect the civilian community has stood the test of time.
Since the 1850s, the Army has enjoyed links with the City as both a training depot and garrison. The Rifle Brigade, the Royal Green Jackets and the Light Infantry have all had historic connections with Winchester, being stationed at Peninsula Barracks. In 1986, the Light Division Depot was moved from Peninsula Barracks to Flowerdown, a site to the north of the City. It was later renamed Sir John Moore Barracks, in honour of an outstanding British General of the early 1800s. In 1993, the Light Division Depot became the Army Training Regiment Winchester (ATR).
Today, recruits from the Royal Armoured Corps, the Adjutant General’s Corps, the Army Air Corps, the Intelligence Corps, the Army Medical Services and the Corps of Army Music all undergo their initial 12-week recruit training in Winchester. The Barracks has a training capacity for over 2,000 recruits.