AN ARMY squadron whose historic links can be traced back through two centuries is to be given the Freedom of East Lothian.

E (Lothians and Border Yeomanry) Squadron was only formed in 2014 but its predecessors served in the Boer War and First and Second World Wars, and have long links to East Lothian, Dunbar in particular.

A memorial to its fallen is located outside Dunbar Parish Church and the squadron, which has its headquarters at Redford Infantry Barracks, Edinburgh, regards the town as its historic home.

Now, East Lothian Council has agreed to present the squadron with the Freedom of the County during a rededication ceremony planned for the memorial at the church.

An army spokesperson said that they were delighted, adding: “It is nice to know their contribution to the community is being recognised.”

The East Lothian Yeomanry Cavalry operated from 1797 with a troop in Dunbar raised six years later, and other local troops following.

They went on to become the Lothian and Berwickshire Yeomanry Cavalry and over the decades underwent several name changes but remained effectively the Lothians and Border Yeomanry.

A report to councillors said: “In 2014, the L&B Yeomanry reformed and would like to make a public announcement of their new squadron by holding a rededication event at the memorial in Dunbar.

“The arrangements made for that day could incorporate the formal Freedom ceremony. The formal presentation would take place at Dunbar Town House followed by a civic reception.”

Councillors voted unanimously to approve presenting the squadron with the Freedom of the County.

It is anticipated the presentation will be made during the rededication ceremony, set for Saturday, July 6.

The event is planned to include an exhibit within Dunbar Museum of military treasures recently returned to the Yeomanry and a parade along Dunbar High Street to the memorial followed by a civic reception in the Town House and family event hosted by the British legion.

Previous recipients of the Freedom of East Lothian include the Royal Scots Borderers, 1st Battalion or 1SCOTS, in 2012; former Women’s British Open golf champion Catriona Matthew, in 2009; and the late Port Seton artist John Bellany, in 2004.

Councillor Willie Innes, council leader, said: “East Lothian has a long and proud connection with the military and the gift of Freedom to the Yeomanry is welcome.”

Ward councillor Paul McLennan added: “The Yeomanry have been a part of Dunbar and East Lothian for over 200 years and play an active role in Armistice events. This is very welcome.”

Fellow ward councillor Sue Kempson added: “It is an excellent act.”