The Freedom of Trowbridge will be awarded to the Royal Regiment of Artillery as part of this year’s Wiltshire Armed Forces and Veterans Weekend celebrations in the town park.
It is the first time the honour has been granted by the town council and recognises the service the regiment, which was stationed in Trowbridge during the Second World War and used Holy Trinity as its garrison church, has given to the town.
The commemorations, which take place in Trowbridge Park on June 28 and 29, are held annually to celebrate and remember the veterans and serving members of the armed forces.
Following the award of the Freedom, which takes place on the first day, there will be a parade of the troops through the town, with the Royal Artillery band and standards from local veteran groups leading the way.
Organiser Maryrose Mantle said: “The town has a long-standing relationship with the Royal Artillery and this year being the anniversary of the start of the First World War, it seemed appropriate to award them the Freedom.
“It is the first time it has ever been awarded by Trowbridge, so it is a significant occasion, and we are then expecting around 70 troops to march through the town in a parade led by the band.
“We also have lots of different stalls and attractions, as well as music.
“The popular Warminster Military Wives Choir will be returning again and, weather permitting, the Dakota flypast will also be back.
“The event has become so well known now and the exhibitions and displays are a great way for people to learn more about the armed forces, both at home and abroad.”
The weekend will include a bomb disposal demonstration, a weapons display and skirmish re-enactment, and a walkthrough timeline showing the evolution of the military soldier from the First World War to present day.
Both days will be rounded off with a parade of serving members of the forces, veterans and cadets through the town, before a traditional military drumhead service in the park.
Mrs Mantle, who is also community development officer at Trowbridge Town Council, said: “It is a great way for the county to be able to raise awareness of what the UK forces are doing and have done.
“It is a packed weekend with something for everyone. With the anniversary of the start of the First World War this year it will make it all the more important and it should be a brilliant occasion.”
The event, which is free, will have reserved parking for blue badge holders in Court Street Car Park. Visit www.wafvc.co.uk or www. trowbridge.gov.uk