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Legion granted freedom of region

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By Fiona Reid
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Legion granted freedom of region

A PARADE and ceremony will take place today (Saturday) as The Royal British Legion Scotland (Legion Scotland) is officially granted the Freedom of Dumfries and Galloway.

Representatives of Legion Scotland branches will parade at the Crichton Estate in the presence of Lord Lieutenants, council dignitaries and Rear Admiral Mark Beverstock, national president of Legion Scotland.

Last year was the 100th anniversary of the Legion and in September Dumfries and Galloway Council agreed to grant honorary freeman status to the charity.

Councillor Archie Dryburgh, who is the council’s armed forces champion, said: “Legion Scotland makes a vital contribution to the lives of service personnel, veterans and their families.

“I’m immensely proud to be the council’s armed forces champion and delighted that Dumfries and Galloway Council has granted honorary freeman status to Legion Scotland.”

Depute leader Councillor Rob Davidson added: “Along with our freedom for the Royal Regiment of Scotland, and our Armed Forces Covenant, it demonstrates our region’s support for our armed forces.”

Legion Scotland has more than 140 branches and 60 associated clubs, with more than 20,000 members. Each is run by a volunteer committee.

And branches throughout Scotland have been invited to attend this weekend with their standards, with the RBLS HQ Queen’s Colour being the senior standard.

The parade will take place in front of Easterbrook Hall at 12.45 pm and will be followed by a ceremony in the Crichton Church at 2 pm.

Honorary Freeman status isn’t granted lightly or often in Dumfries and Galloway with just a few previous examples: astronaut Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the Moon, was granted the Freedom of Langholm in 1972; in 2006, Lord Macfarlane of Bearsden was granted the freedom of Dumfries and Galloway in Kirkcudbright, in recognition of his promotion of the visual arts in the region; in 2008, the Royal Regiment of Scotland was granted the freedom in recognition of its service to the nation; and in 2012, David Stevenson was granted the freedom of the region in Langholm, recognising his contribution to business and his community.

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