Freedom of Folkestone to be presented to the Canadian Armed Forces in UK

Contributed by editor on Jun 13, 2018 - 10:30 AM

On Wednesday 4th July 2018 the Freedom of Entry to the Town of Folkestone will be presented to the Canadian Armed Forces serving within the United Kingdom.

The title of ‘Freedom of Entry to the Town of Folkestone’ is the highest honour that a Town Council can confer and it is being presented to the Canadian Armed Forces serving within the United Kingdom, in recognition of their devoted military service to our Sovereign and Country and the continued links with Folkestone in the annual commemoration of the 305 Canadian Soldiers buried at the Shorncliffe Military Cemetery.

In celebration of this significant event, the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) will be parading through the Town of Folkestone.

The Parade will commence at 1100 hrs by the Leas Bandstand and process down Langhorne Gardens into Sandgate Road where members of the local Ex-Service Associations will be present with their standards in front of the Garden of Remembrance.

The Parade will continue down Sandgate Road and into Bouverie West Terrace, Albion Mews, Alexandra Gardens and back onto Sandgate Road coming to a halt at the front of the Town Hall.

Inspection of Parade

An inspection of the Parade will then take place and a presentation, along with speeches, will be made by the Worshipful Town Mayor of Folkestone, Councillor Ann Berry, and Brigadier-General L.E. Thomas OMM CD who is the Commander of the Canadian Defence Liaison Staff in London. Following the inspection and Parade the RCAF will then go back up Sandgate Road into Bouverie Place eventually making their way onto The Leas, being dismissed at the Leas Cliff Hall at approximately 12 noon.

Momentous occasion

The Town Mayor of Folkestone, councillor Ann Berry, commented “The last time the town council awarded Freedom of Entry to the Town of Folkestone was in 2009 to the 2nd Battalion of The Royal Gurkha Rifles, when the people of Folkestone came out in force to celebrate the momentous occasion.

"This is a fantastic opportunity to show our appreciation and support for past and present Canadian Forces that have served and continue to serve within the United Kingdom. I am sure many people in the community, if they were educated at primary schools in Folkestone, would have attended the annual flower laying service at Shorncliffe Military Cemetery which has taken place since 1919. We hope that everyone will join us in welcoming the Parade to our Town on 4th July.”

Lieutenant-General Al Meinzinger, Commander, Royal Canadian Air Force, said “The Canadian Armed Forces and, in particular, the Royal Canadian Air Force share a long and proud history with the United Kingdom and the town of Folkestone.


"During the Second World War, RCAF personnel flew from RAF Hawkinge to assist our allies and, ultimately, achieve victory. It is a tremendous honour for the RCAF to be accorded the Freedom of Entry to Folkestone and, on behalf of all members of the RCAF, I extend my gratitude and appreciation for this prestigious honour.”

During the parade, traffic in the Town Centre will be managed using a rolling roadblock in order to minimise disruption to the Town Centre.

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