Councillors in East Lothian have unanimously agreed to grant the Freedom of the county to Lothians and Border Yeomanry. The decision was taken at a full council meeting yesterday.

This is a seminal moment in the history of The Lothians and Border Yeomanry.

The Lothians and Border Yeomanry is the county’s historic regiment dating back to 1797 with the formation of the East Lothian Yeomanry Cavalry. The Dunbar, Seton, Salton and Gifford troops eventually disbanded and joined with other areas before reforming in 2014 under its current name. Granting the Freedom of East Lothian to the regiment recognises the sacrifices and service made by its members over the years, and reinforces the council’s commitment to all armed services members living within the county.

The Freedom will be presented at a formal civic reception in front of invited guests at Dunbar Town House on Saturday 6 July. The Yeomanry will hold a parade along the High Street, ending outside Dunbar Parish Church church on the town’s Queen’s Road, where they will rededicate their memorial at that site. Dunbar Museum will host an exhibition of military treasures recently returned to the Yeomanry while the British Legion will host a family event.

East Lothian Council’s Armed Forces Champion Councillor Jim Goodfellow will host the civic reception at which the Freedom will be presented. He said: “I’m delighted that we are recognising the important role that the Lothian and Border Yeomanry played, and continues to play, within East Lothian with this rarely-bestowed honour.

“As a signatory of a national Armed Forces Covenant, this council and our partners have committed to supporting members of its community wherever we can. The reception and activities on 6 July will provide an occasion to reflect upon the part that the Yeomanry, and all our Armed Services, play in our society.”

Captain Alan Hume from Lothians and Border Yeomanry said: “This is a seminal moment in the history of The Lothians and Border Yeomanry and our relationships within East Lothian. 

“Since reforming in 2014, we have grown in capability as Light Cavalry and reconnected with the East Lothian communities. Receiving the Freedom of East Lothian will re-establish the golden thread of our heritage, allowing us to write the next chapter in a proud and distinguished history that will always be intrinsically linked to East Lothian, where many of our Officers and Soldiers have lived and worked.”

Learn more about East Lothian's Armed Forces Covenant.

Read the history of the Lothians and Border Yeomanry.

Published: Wednesday, 15th May 2019