The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, 5th Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland, are to be awarded the Freedom of Renfrewshire.
At a meeting of Renfrewshire Council, Provost of Renfrewshire Celia Lawson backed by Leader of the opposition Labour Group, Councillor Iain McMillan, moved that the battalion’s name be added to the roll of names of those who have been admitted as Freemen and Freewomen of the area.
The move, which received unanimous support from all parties on the council, honours the contribution made by the regiment to the nation not only in times of conflict but also in times of peace.
To celebrate the honour, the battalion will march through Paisley on Monday 20th June, to coincide with a weekend of Armed Forces Day celebrations.
Provost Lawson said: “The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders are the official battalion of Renfrewshire and many serving men and women are from our community. The battalion has a long and proud history. In recent years they have fought in the conflict in Afghanistan where more than 250 British service personnel have lost their lives. I am very proud to be able to bestow the Freedom of Renfrewshire on the battalion.”
The Freedom is the highest honour a local authority can give an individual or group. Historically the title would have provided rights such as to trade and to graze cattle, however, it is now purely a civic honour.
Councillor Iain McMillan said: “Renfrewshire has a strong military history with a tradition of honouring our military heroes so it is very fitting that we should award the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders the Freedom of Renfrewshire. I am delighted to support this decision and I’m sure many people across Renfrewshire will do the same.”
In 2009 internationally-renowned sculptor Sandy Stoddart became the first Freeman of Renfrewshire since 1961.
The first citizen of Renfrewshire to receive the honour was Mr Stewart Clark in 1902.
Renfrewshire will celebrate Armed Forces Day with a weekend of celebrations starting with a flag-raising ceremony on Friday 17th June.
On Saturday 18th June a joint Armed Forces Day service will be held in Paisley Abbey to honour servicemen and women from Renfrewshire and Inverclyde, followed by stalls and activities at Abbey Close and a family fun day at the British Legion at Renfrew Road, Paisley.
The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders will be officially awarded the Freedom of Renfrewshire on Monday 20th June.