WEARSIDE’S adopted gunners 4th Regiment Royal Artillery are set to mark their 40th year of freedom with a parade through Sunderland.
More than 250 gunners will parade in the city centre with bayonets fixed at 1pm on Saturday, August 2, to celebrate the 1974 granting of freedom to the “North East Gunners”.
A gun salute using eight 105mm guns will then be fired by a further 80 gunners from Mowbray Park’s terrace.
Council leader Paul Watson said: “The close bond between 4th Regiment and the people of Sunderland goes back many years, and I know how proud everyone in this city is of the ‘Gunners’.
“It’s always an honour to welcome the 4th Regiment to Sunderland. I hope people will cheer them on and applaud them as they mark their 40th with this parade and firing of guns.”
The regiment last exercised its freedom with a parade in June last year after returning from its third tour of duty in Afghanistan.
Commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel John Catto, said: “The 4th Regiment Royal Artillery has enjoyed a long relationship with Sunderland which was formally recognised by the Award of the Freedom in 1974.
“Over the ensuing 40 years, the regiment has hugely benefited from this close bond. Sunderland and the North East has proven to be a strong source of recruitment for the regiment, and through these young men and women, an identifiably North Eastern character has formed in the regiment.”