Ely’s Army and Air Cadets are set to be granted the Freedom of the City of Ely. The ceremony will be an historic moment during Armed Forces Day which will be held on Cross Green beside Ely Cathedral on Saturday 24 June.
The honour was championed by the late Mike Rouse, a former Mayor and long-serving councillor, and follows a ceremony in April when the City of Ely Council signed the Armed Forces Covenant which is a pledge that those who serve, or have served in the armed forces, and their families, will be treated with fairness and respect by their community.
The day will begin at 9.30am with a specially commissioned Cry by Ely’s Town Crier, Cecilia De-Boer, followed by an opening address from the Mayor, Cllr Chris Phillips.
The Royal British Legion, Soldiers’, Sailors’, and Airmen’s Families Association (SSAFA), are among the organisations who will set up information stands and there will also be food and drink vendors.
Breckland Brass Band will play at 2pm and at 3.30pm the Mayor will preside over the ceremony to grant the Freedom of the City to the Army and Air Cadets.
The day will end with a Drumhead Service conducted by the Rev Alan Jessop, Cambridgeshire county RBL chaplain. The service will take place on Cross Green beside Ely Cathedral - a poignant and appropriate setting because a Drumhead Service is a traditional ecumenical service conducted “in the field” during an armed conflict when regimental drums are placed on top of each other to form an altar.
City of Ely Royal British Legion branch chairman, David Martin said: “Armed Forces Day is an opportunity for everyone to show support for the men and women who make up the Armed Forces; from currently serving troops to Service families, veterans and cadets. We hope that plenty of people from the city and beyond will find time to drop by during the day.”