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Thursday, 27 November 2014

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Freedom honour for Copeland's armed forces and cadets

Copeland's armed forces and local cadets were awarded the freedom of the borough at a poignant ceremony on Whitehaven harbourside yesterday.

Armed Forces Day photo
Armed Forces Day

Representatives of Copeland-based branches of the Sea Cadets, Army Cadet Force and Air Training Corps, plus the regular armed forces, were bestowed the honour by the borough’s mayor, Mike McVeigh.

The event was held during the Whitehaven Festival to coincide with Armed Forces Day and formed part of a service of thanksgiving to honour Britain’s armed forces of the past, present and future. It was led by Rev John Bannister.

Copeland council leader Elaine Woodburn formally proposed the bestowing of the honorary title.

She said: “It is my pleasure to propose that these extraordinary organisations receive the freedom of the borough. It is apt that we recognise all those, past and present, who give so much so that we can live in freedom.”

Councilor David Moore, who seconded the proposal, added: “I would like to thank the senior people who come forward and invest time to work with the young people in the cadets.

“We can see the pride that these young people have in their uniforms, and the dignity, respect and skills they have learned will take them forward in their lives.”

Following the service, there was a free concert by All Angels, a classical all-female group, who treated the crowd to a beautiful performance of traditional and contemporary songs.

Veterans Alan Birkett and Geoff Christiansen, who served in the King’s Own Border Regiment, were among those who attended. “It was very enjoyable indeed and I have to say that it is very much appreciated by all the veterans,” said Mr Birkett. An Armed Forces Day parade was also held in Workington, with servicemen, ex-servicemen and cadets.

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