On Sunday 7th July 2019, Bicester residents lined the streets around Market Square to celebrate a military training regiment receiving the town’s highest honour.
The Defence Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Munitions and Search Training Regiment, DEMS, based at St George’s Barracks, were given the Freedom of Entry.
The decree, a ceremonial honour, means the regiment can march through the town with swords drawn, bayonets fixed, drums beating, band playing and colours flying.
The event was marked by a service at St Edburg’s Church, in Church Street, followed by a parade from the church to the Market Square.
Afterwards a scroll confirming the freedom of entry to Bicester was presented to the regiment in Market Square. The troops then marched to Garth Park for refreshments.
The DEMS regiment opened a training base near Bicester in 2013, and they are responsible for training service personal across the Army, Navy and RAF, as well as service personnel from other countries in bomb disposal and search techniques.
We were honoured to be asked to provide the ceremonial flowers by Bicester Town Council in the Regiment’s colours of red, mixed with pale and dark blue. We provided pedestals for church, dressed the dias as the machinery was being positioned – a little surreal on a Sunday morning and adorned the bandstand with garlands for the drinks reception.
Congratulations to all those involved, we were delighted to have contributed to this very special day.