4th Battalion the Parachure Regiment to be given freedom of Leeds

Leeds’ most recognisable military institution is set to be awarded with the city’s highest honour at a ceremony this week.
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The 4th Battalion, The Parachute Regiment, will become the first military service unit to be honoured with freedom of the city since the HMS Ark Royal more than 40 years ago.

Based in Thornbury Barracks, Pudsey, 4PARA play a key part in honouring our armed forces in Leeds, including being a signatory to the city’s Armed Forces Community Covenant.

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The battalion was formed during the second world war, and boasts four companies, in Scotland, The North, The Midlands and London.

Thornbury Barracks, home of 4PARA.Thornbury Barracks, home of 4PARA.
Thornbury Barracks, home of 4PARA.

Due to ongoing Covid-19 restrictions, a special ceremony to award 4PARA with Freedom of Entry has been organised to take place virtually, being streamed live on YouTube.

The meeting, which takes place on Wednesday, will be chaired by the Lord Mayor of Leeds – representatives of each political party will speak, along with the commanding officer for 4PARA, Lieutenant Colonel Rick Lewin, receiving the award on behalf of the unit.

In attendance to see the battalion be bestowed with Honorary Freedom of Leeds will be HM Lord-Lieutenant for West Yorkshire, Mr Ed Anderson.

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The agenda item on Leeds City Council’s website stated: “The Freedom of Entry into the City of Leeds in recognition of their long and historic and honourable association with the city and in appreciation of their loyal and devoted service to our sovereign and country.

“This meeting is specially convened in accordance with the provisions of Section 249 of the Local Government Act 1972 under which the Council may, by resolution passed by not less than two thirds of the Members voting thereon, admit persons to be Honorary Freemen.”

The specially convened meeting will take place on Wednesday, December 9.