Under Section 249 of the Local Government Act 1972, borough councils may admit as Honorary Freemen of the Borough ,'persons of distinction and persons who have, in the opinion of the council, rendered eminent services to the borough'. In the case of HM Services units, the Freedom of the Borough can be bestowed upon them.
The Honorary Freedom is the highest award that the council can bestow.
No legal rights or responsibilities are conveyed by the granting of the Freedom of the Borough, other than a ceremonial role at civic functions.
When a regiment has been granted the Freedom of the Borough, tradition allows the military unit to parade through the town with fixed bayonets, regimental band playing, and colours flying. Following council approval, regimental flags may be flown at the Civic Centre, on regimental days only, for those regiments who have been or are granted Freedom of the Borough (Minute number 413/04/12 refers).
Ashford Borough Council has conferred the Honorary Freedom of the Borough on:
|Name||Date of admission||Regimental Day|
|Intelligence Corps||16 May 1979||19 July|
|Ferdinand Johann Lethert MBE||5 April 1986|
|Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment from 09/09/1992 (Queens and Royal Hampshire Regiments before 09/09/1992 - Queens Regiment was granted Freedom of the Borough on 13 June 1987)||30 June 1992||16 May|
|Ernest Hugh William Mexter||9 December 1995|
|133 Field Company REME (V)||7 May 2009||4 December|
For more information email Member Services, or telephone 01233 330564.