‘Momentous’ parade will mark RAF Marham’s freedom

Scenes from RAF Marham IX Squadron homecoming Parade in Downham Market. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Scenes from RAF Marham IX Squadron homecoming Parade in Downham Market. Picture: Matthew Usher. - Credit: Matthew Usher

RAF Marham will exercise its Freedom of the Borough of west Norfolk next week with a parade and flypast in the centre of King's Lynn.

West Norfolk mayor Elizabeth Watson said the event on Wednesday, June 26, would be a 'momentous' occasion, where residents would be able to show their support and appreciation for the work military service personnel did around the world in countries such as Afghanistan.

After the parade has marched from Common Staithe Quay, Mrs Watson will lead a civic procession along the Tuesday Market Place before taking the salute and inspecting the parade.

She and station commander Group Captain David Cooper will then address those at the ceremony.

'This momentous event will be one of the highlights of my mayoral year,' Mrs Watson said. 'I am very much looking forward to greeting and meeting all of the service personnel from RAF Marham and members of the their families. It will give me the opportunity to express my personal gratitude and that of the borough for the contributions they all make in ensuring our nation's continuing peace and security.

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'I hope that people will join us to mark this occasion and show support for the efforts of our service personnel.'

The Band of the Royal Air Force Regiment will also play at the event, which is being held as part of National Armed Forces Week. Earlier in the week a flag-raising ceremony and act of remembrance will take place at King's Lynn War Memorial, in Tower Gardens.

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The Marham wing operates four Squadrons of Tornado GR4 aircraft and recently welcomed home IX(B) Squadron from a successful tour of duty in Afghanistan.

No 3 Force Protection Wing (3FPWG) RAF Regiment, which is based at RAF Marham but comprises squadrons from Honington and Wittering and the Tactical Police Squadron at RAF Henlow, was deployed on to Camp Bastion on Operation Herrick 18 in April.

Earlier this year defence secretary Philip Hammond announced that the future of the base would be secure until 2040, as he revealed that the joint strike fighter will be based at Marham as part of a combined RAF and Royal Naval force.

The Tuesday Market Place and Common Staithe Quay will be roped off early on the morning of the Freedom Parade, with the parking bays around the Tuesday Market Place also closed until after the parade.

Motorists have been warned that any cars still in these areas once they have been closed off will be removed by police.

West Norfolk Borough Council has also warned that there may be very brief intermittent road closures in the Tuesday Market Place and the junctions surrounding it between 9am and noon.

The road around the Tuesday Market Place will be closed for an hour from 10.30am for the parade.

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