Mid and East Antrim Borough Council has conferred its first ever Freedom of the Borough on B (North Irish Horse) Squadron of The Scottish and North Irish Yeomanry, one of the most distinguished units of the Army.
Councillors, members of the military and invited guests gathered in Carrickfergus Town Hall for a special council ceremony on Saturday 30 January. At the ceremony the Mayor, Cllr Billy Ashe, formally proposed the honour which was seconded by the Deputy Mayor, Cllr Timothy Gaston, before being given approval by the Elected Members of the Council. Colonel Dr Melfort Campbell then accepted it on behalf of B (North Irish Horse) Squadron.
The Mayor, the Freedom Party, Aldermen and Councillors then watched local soldiers from the North Irish Horse Squadron and their Scottish regimental colleagues exercise their right to parade through the town.
Crowds of onlookers lined the route along the Marine Highway and were treated to an impressive spectacle as the parade, led by the band of the Royal Irish Regiment, marched past a number of iconic landmarks including Carrickfergus Castle and the Churchill tank.
The North Irish Horse was established following the Boer War. It has since had a long and distinguished history of service. During World War II it was equipped with Churchill Tanks. These tanks were designed and produced by Harland and Wolff, who had one of their factories on the Woodburn Road, Carrickfergus. A restored tank from that era is now on permanent display at the town’s Marine Gardens.
The North Irish Horse has a distinguished record of service that continues today as B (North Irish Horse) Squadron of The Scottish and North Irish Yeomanry which is the newest combat regiment in the Army Reserve, formed in October 2014.