The Rifles, the Army’s largest infantry regiment, have exercised their Freedom of Sherborne by marching through the streets of the historic West Dorset town to the accompaniment of their own Band and Bugles.
Current and past members of The Rifles and its antecedents in the Devonshire and Dorset Regiment first gathered with dignitaries and guests in Sherborne Abbey for a remembrance service.
Then The Rifles paraded through the town centre where the salute was taken by their senior officer, Major General Rupert Jones, Assistant Chief of the General Staff, along with Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of Dorset, Angus Campbell, and the Mayor of Sherborne, Councillor Dominic Elliott, who had extended the invitation to march.
The parade included members of the Combined Cadet Force of Sherborne School which hosted a reception immediately afterwards.
The following day, The Rifles paraded in Lyme Regis where the Dorsetshire Regiment first exercised their freedom to march in 1945.
The Rifles has its headquarters at Winchester and incorporates five Regular and three Reserve battalions, including 6 Rifles which recruits locally for its Company of Reservists based at Dorchester and Poole.
The Regiment’s link with Sherborne originates with the Dorsetshire Regiment and its predecessor, the 39th (Dorsetshire) Regiment of Foot, first raised in 1702.