Tornado Squadron from RAF Marham in line for Swaffham honour

A Tornado squadron from RAF Marham could be made an honorary citizen of Swaffham under proposals put before the town council last night (Wednesday).

The title has only been given a handful of times and recognises individuals or organisations which have contributed to the town's well-being.

Breckland councillor and former town mayor Ian Sherwood proposed that II (AC) Squadron receive the honour when appointments are made in September, ahead of the squadron's 100th anniversary next year.

'Without doubt II (AC) Squadron meet and exceed the criteria to become honorary citizens of our town,' cllr Sherwood said. 'This is an honour only given on six previous occasions and is a fitting tribute in view of the Royal Air Force's importance to our country's security and the important role RAF Marham plays in the life of Swaffham and the larger West Norfolk community.

'II (AC) Squadron is the oldest fixed wing flying squadron in the world and May 13, 2012 marks 100 years since their formation, it would be an honour for our town to play our part in marking this unique and special occasion.'

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The squadron paraded through Swaffham in August last year following its return from service in Afghanistan.

Previous honorary citizens include trade unionist Jack Boddy and the Norfolk and Suffolk Yeomanry and the town council is due to discuss this year's appointments at a meeting in September.

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One honorary citizen is usually appointed during a council's four-year term.

'As we await the decision on the future of RAF Marham, and all of the local community, we hope we keep the RAF in West Norfolk,' Cllr Sherwood added. 'We must not miss the opportunity to show our service personnel how highly they are thought of by the community in which they live. Let's hope the decision - likely early next week - will mean this will mark the continuing presence of the RAF here.'

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