In my speech from the podium on the steps of Princes Hall, I said:
Colonel Commandant, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen
Today is a particularly special day for the Borough of Rushmoor and for Aldershot, in particular, as we are conferring on the Royal Army Physical Training Corps the Freedom of the Borough, which the Corps is celebrating with this March.
The Corps has had a long, proud history of association with the Borough, having been based in Aldershot since 1860.
The importance of the Corps to the Borough was first recognised in 1960, when the former Aldershot Borough Council granted the Corps the Freedom of the Borough.
The Borough of Rushmoor was formed in 1974, when Aldershot and Farnborough joined together, and, in 1981, Rushmoor reaffirmed the Freedom of the Borough for the Corps.
I am very proud today to present the Corps with a new Freedom Scroll, following the granting of the “Royal” title last year.
The Borough is proud of its long association with the military, particularly as Aldershot is renowned throughout the country as the “Home of the British Army”.
The Royal Army Physical Training Corps has always been one of the key foundations of this association. I therefore congratulate the Corps on the award of the “Royal” title, and I wish you all well for the future.
I will now formally present the Freedom Scroll to the Colonel Commandant of the Corps, General Sir Jeremy MacKenzie.
At the lunch later at Hammersley Barracks, the Colonel Commandant presented me with a commemorative, framed display of the Corps’s association with the Borough.