The Yorkshire Regiment (1st Battalion) will exercise its Freedom of Harrogate at 2012 Great Yorkshire Show.
Having recently returned from Afghanistan, 185 soldiers will parade around the show's Main Ring wearing combat dress, with Colours flying and bayonets fixed. There will also be a silence to mark the Regiment's recent losses.
– Nigel Pulling, Yorkshire Agricultural Society Chief Executive
The 1st Battalion returns from active service in Afghanistan just before the Great Yorkshire Show, and we are delighted and extremely proud to honour them. It will be a unique occasion as it is the first time that the Regiment has exercised its Freedom at an organised event. This means that not only will this be a highlight for our show visitors, but as the Parade will be streamed live via our website, the audience is worldwide, including members of the Regiment's 3rd Battalion who do not return from Afghanistan until October.
The Mayor of the Borough of Harrogate, accompanied by the Council Leader, and the Chief Executive, Wallace Sampson will watch the Parade from the President's Box along with Society personnel. The Mayor will take the salute which will be followed by a presentation to the Regiment by Simon Theakston, the Society's Chairman.
Traditionally, regiments exercise their Freedom at the end of operational tours. The Yorkshire Regiment last did so in Harrogate in 2009 on returning from Iraq. The Freedom of the Borough is the highest gift a Council can offer.
The Great Yorkshire Show marks the start of a week Homecoming Parades for the Regiment - Beverley and Bridlington on Wednesday 11 July, Bradford and Leeds on Thursday 12 July, York on Friday 13 July and Hull on Saturday 14 .