THE Stratford Mop of 1914 appeared little changed from previous years. Wartime austerity had not yet set in and few people foresaw that the conflict would be lengthy. One of the great traditions of the fair was its roasts. No less than five oxen and seven pigs were rotating on the spits outside the pubs on the big day. The excursion trains brought their usual hundreds of revellers from Birmingham and other centres of population. None of Stratford’s conscripts had yet embarked overseas, although just five days before, a regular with the South Wales Borderers, Sgt RH Savage, had been the first Stratfordian to fall victim to the war. He had been struck by shrapnel at the Battle of the Aisne and died of his wounds in Bournbrook Military Hospital.
Four years ago Ellis Holtom, of Stratford-upon-Avon, was born with half a working heart. Later, the Herald featured his condition as a tribute to the work of Birmingham Children’s Hospital where he was treated. Now, to mark Congenital Heart Defect Week his mum, Vicki, updates his story. . .
ALL 326 local planning authorities in England, councils like Stratford-on-Avon District, need a local plan. The core strategy is a component of that local plan. It contains all the local district wide policies that need to be considered when processing planning applications. New development needs to satisfy local needs, helping to realise the hopes and ambitions of its communities and protect them from situations they fear. New homes and places to work should provide then with a healthy lifestyle, a pleasant place to live, good recreational facilities and above all the infrastructure that enhances their quality of life. The buzzword to describe this is ‘sustainable’.
THE poor are paying more than they should be for their energy, according to damning new evidence from Stratford-upon-Avon’s Citizens Advice Bureau. Prepayment meters (PPMs) are costing users in fuel poverty a “disproportionate amount” for what little gas and electricity they can afford, the bureau has found. There are around 7.2 million people on prepayment meters in the UK and several thousand in the district of Stratford. Despite Stratford’s reputation as an affluent area, the bureau is being forced to come to the aid of more and more people living in fuel poverty on an increasingly regular basis.
SOLDIERS received a heroes’ welcome on Friday as they marched through Warwick town centre for a Freedom Parade on the 70th anniversary of D-Day.
The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers have been awarded the freedom of Warwickshire and at 11.30am, the Second Battalion paraded through Warwick town centre to celebrate this honour.
This was an extra special parade for the Fusiliers, who have a unique link with Warwickshire as they can trace their lineage through their historic regiments – The 6th of Foot, Royal Warwickshire Regiment and Royal Warwickshire Fusiliers.
County Councillors agreed unanimously to award the freedom of the county to the Regiment and this enables them to march with drums beating, colours flying and bayonets fixed.
The parade involved 150 troops, including a colour party, Corps of Drums and band.
The Duke of Kent, inset, was also in attendance in his role as colonel-in-chief of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers.
The parade began at 11.30am in Northgate Street and the regiment marched into Market Place for an inspection. The parade then continued back down Church Street, into High Street, Swan Street, Market Place to end back on Northgate Street.
Lieutenant Colonel Jim Taylor MBE, Commanding Officer of the Second Battalion, said: “We are honoured to receive the Freedom of the County of Warwickshire. It is a great privilege for me to lead my soldiers on this auspicious occasion.
“The Second Fusiliers has a long affiliation with Warwickshire. We trace our lineage directly back to the Second Battalion of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment who performed magnificently in the D-Day landings.
“It is therefore fitting that the parade falls on the 70th anniversary of this momentous achievement.”
Warrant Officer Class 1 (Regimental Sergeant Major) Dale Jackson is the senior soldier in the Second Fusiliers, and is also a Warwickshire man himself.
He said: “Warwickshire is in the DNA of the Second Fusiliers. There are many lads from the county in the battalion and we are all very proud of our county’s ties with our regiment. It’s a great privilege to parade my soldiers in this way”
Fusilier Luke Feasey, from Warwick, has served for three and a half years with the Regiment, having joined the Second Battalion in Germany.
Fusilier Feasey said: “Having lived in Warwick my entire life, I am really looking forward to being able to march through my home town as a member of the Second Fusiliers.
“I am very proud to serve with the second Battalion and it means a lot that my Regiment is being honoured by my county. I am also looking forward to continuing my army career with the First Fusiliers later this year after the Regimental merger.”
Cllr Brian Moss, Chairman of Warwickshire County Council, said: “I am delighted to welcome the Fusiliers to Warwick as we celebrate granting them the freedom of the county.
“This honour was unanimously agreed by all county councillors and is a clear message of support from the whole county. It is a way for us to show our most sincere appreciation and gratitude for the dedication of our hardworking service men and women, and the sacrifices they make.
“I hope that local residents and visitors to Warwick will turn out on the day to cheer on the troops and give them a warm Warwickshire welcome.”
Factfile on the Fusiliers
The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers was formed on April 23 1968 upon the amalgamation of The Royal Northumberland Fusiliers, The Royal Warwickshire Fusiliers, The Royal Fusiliers and the Lancashire Fusiliers.
The Regiment continues to recruit heavily from the Warwickshire area, and is active in the region thanks, in large part, to the hard work of the Army Reserves, local association and Cadet Forces.
This parade will hold additional significance as it will be one of the last ceremonial occasions for troops from the Second Battalion as they will merge with the First Battalion in August 2014.
Second Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers (2 RRF) is a Light Infantry Battalion, currently based in Dhekelia, Cyprus. They have just finished being the high-readiness Theatre Reserve Battalion, the operational reserve ready to deploy to Afghanistan if required. The battalion now has the responsibility of guarding the UK’s strategic assets in Cyprus.
Warwickshire is the second county area to grant the freedom of a county to the Regiment of Fusiliers, following Northumberland who did this in 2010.
The county council last welcomed the Fusiliers in November 2009 as the Second Battalion returned from a demanding tour of Afghanistan. Sadly during this tour seven members of the Second Battalion were killed.
2014 also marks the 1,100th anniversary of Warwick and the the parade will form part of the exciting line up of events planned in the town.