The Lord Mayor, Councillor Cleo Lake, conferred the freedom of the city of Bristol on 39 Signal Regiment at a special extraordinary full council meeting at City Hall on Tuesday.
The Horfield-based reserve regiment, which was formed in 1967 and is made up of people who live and work in the area, became the eighth military unit to receive the honour since 1958, following the likes of the Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiment, the Rifles and 57 Squadron, Royal Corps of Signals, which was disbanded in 2015.
The 39 Signal Regiment is likely to exercise their freedom with a parade through the city centre, to coincide with the Royal Corps of Signals centenary, in 2020.
Lord Mayor of Bristol, Councillor Cleo Lake, who presented a certificate to the regiment’s commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Vincent Connelly, said: “Conferring Freedom of the City is in recognition of 39 Signal Regiment’s growing role within the City, from forging links with Bristol companies and supporting Armed Forces Day, Remembrance and other events to providing communications with the emergency services at times of crisis.
“This award also affirms the Council’s commitment to the Armed Forces in Bristol as stated in our Armed Forces Community Covenant.’’
Lt. Col Connelly said: “It is a great honour and privilege for the 39th Signal Regiment to receive the Freedom of the City in recognition of our strong links with Bristol. 39 Signal Regiment has been in the city since 1995 but we have a longer lineage with Bristol going back through our predecessor Royal Signals Units to the Second World War and through the North Somerset Yeomanry.
“Not only are we accepting this honour from the City of Bristol for the present generation of Signallers and their families who have supported us, but for all who have served in the Royal Signals locally and helped maintain our proud links with the city.