Up to 80 troops will be marching through Warwick this weekend to celebrate a military station’s 75th anniversary.
On Saturday, officers and soldiers from Kineton Station will be conducting a freedom parade through the town with bayonets fixed, colours flying, drums beating and bands playing.
Warwick has been chosen for the parade because Kineton Station was granted the Freedom of Warwick in 2012 to mark the Station’s 70th anniversary, where there was a similar parade. The Station has maintained strong links with the town ever since.
The Station opened in October 1942 to meet the munitions demands of World War II. It is now home to Defence Munitions Kineton, including the Ammunition Technical Support Group, elements of the Defence Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Munitions and Search Training Regiment, the Kineton Support Unit and the Royal Logistic Corps’ Ammunition technician trade.
Kineton Station is also the largest ammunition storage site in the EU.
Lt Col Wayne Davidson RLC, Kineton Station Commander, said: “I am immensely grateful for the support that the Station has received over the years and continues to receive today.
“The Station has evolved into the UK’s premier ammunition storage and distribution site and the trade home of the Royal Logistic Corps’ Ammunition Technicians and Ammunition Technical Officers.
“This could not have been achieved without the local community embracing our service personnel and their families. In an ever-changing defence environment, Kineton Station’s place in the community is assured for the foreseeable future and I look forward to continuing and strengthening the relationships that contribute to this success.”
Stephen Cross, mayor of Warwick, said: “The men and women at Kineton are part of the Royal Logistics Corps and, as well as being responsible for the safe handling and storage all of the explosive ordnance at the base, they form part of the DEMS training Regiment.
“The Defence Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Munitions and Search Training Regiment, to give it’s full title, trains personnel from all arms of our services in all aspects of Explosive Ordnance Disposal, High Risk Search and Ammunition Technical Management.
“At the invitation of the Commanding Officer, Lt Col W A Davidson, I have had the pleasure in meeting many of the men and women on the base. I have joined them on a 75 mile ‘march’, mostly cross country, around south Warwickshire, in celebration of their 75th anniversary.
“We have been wearing bright yellow T-shirts promoting the Felix Charity. The charity provides welfare support and financial assistance to serving and ex-serving military personnel who have conducted or assisted with explosive ordnance disposal and search duties and to their families.
“It will be an immense privilege for me and one of my proudest moments to represent Warwick, when the regiment exercise their right to the freedom of the town, and celebrate their 75th anniversary, marching with bayonets fixed, colours flying, with drums and band playing.”
The freedom parade will take place in Warwick town centre and will start at 10.25am.
Up to 80 troops will be marching along a route through the town, which starts on Castle Street, moves onto High Street and Swan Street and then goes into Market Place and Old Square before finishing in Church Street at 11am.
Road closures will be put in place on Brook Street, Swan Street, Market Place, Castle Lane and Northgate Street. This means that the one-way system will be shut off completely from 6am until midday.
Castle Lane will be closed 6am-12pm, Back Lane, High Street and Jury Street will be closed 9am-12pm and Castle Street will be closed until 12.30pm.