Northampton

Freedom of Northampton borough for Royal Lancers

Councillors David MacKintosh and Roger Conroy with members of the 9th/12 Royal Lancers Regiment in Northampton
Image caption Borough councillors presented a scroll to members of the regiment

Soldiers from the 9th/12th Royal Lancers Regiment are planning a march through Northampton after a tour of duty in Afghanistan scheduled for 2013.

The regiment has been given the freedom of the borough to mark its links.

The regiment, which recruits from across the East Midlands, was granted the honour at a ceremony on Saturday.

Commanding officer Lt Col Richard Slack said the award was a "great honour". The council said it would welcome a parade on the regiment's return.

'Makes sacrifices'

He said: "The guys in the regiment really appreciate everything that both the borough council and the local community do for us.

"Northamptonshire is one of the key areas where we recruit from."

The regiment, currently based in Germany, formed more than 50 years ago and has had people from Northamptonshire serving in Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan.

David Mackintosh, leader of Northampton Borough Council, said: "The regiment performs a vital role in the defence of our country, every Lancer makes sacrifices and it is only right we honour them."

Last year, more than 1,000 people lined the streets of Northampton to see the regiment's homecoming parade.

The regiment is to be redeployed to Afghanistan in 2013 and plans to parade on Northampton's streets when it returns.

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