Exmouth to adopt regiment

PUBLISHED: 10:52 12 February 2009 | UPDATED: 10:28 10 June 2010

EXMOUTH will officially adopt The Rifles this spring in a day of pomp and ceremony and celebration. The day, on Saturday April 25, will begin late morning following an assembly with a parade involving Army dignitaries and civic leaders, starting in the

EXMOUTH will officially adopt The Rifles this spring in a day of pomp and ceremony and celebration.

The day, on Saturday April 25, will begin late morning following an assembly with a parade involving Army dignitaries and civic leaders, starting in the Strand Gardens.

The parade will then march past the Town Hall, via Alexandra Terrace and along the Esplanade to the Pavilion.

Just after mid-day refreshments, including beer and pasties, will be served before the regimental band and bugles assemble outside the Pavilion to play sounding retreat to end the ceremony.

The decision to adopt the rifles was taken in a meeting at the town hall between Major Jon Jellard, the Rifles' Regimental Secretary, town councillors and Mayor Joy Whipps, East Devon District Council, Exmouth Police and representatives from the Royal British Legion in January.

Town councillor David Chapman who chaired the meeting said: "This is an important day for the town and highlights the bond that we have with The Rifles.

"It is an honour to be part of this process and it is hoped that lots of people will express their support by attending the parade on April 25."

The Rifles formed in 2007 from The Devon and Dorset Light infantry, The Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire Wiltshire Light Infantry, The Light Infantry and The Royal Green Jackets, and pride themselves on having the widest range of roles out of any British infantry regiment today.

They have a battalion in the commando role, armored infantry, perform jungle and mountain operations and have a mechanised arm.

Currently The Rifles are on operations and deployments in Falklands, South Georgia, Kosovo, Belize, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Major Jon Jellard, 58, of Lympstone: "It is a great honour for the town council to adopt an army or military unit.

"In this case the rifles and Exmouth go back a long way.

"The link the Devon and Dorset's via the Devon's and now the Rifles is strong and we are fostering a long tradition with the area.

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