AN HISTORIC army squadron which is to be given the Freedom of East Lothian will march through Dunbar next week.

E (Lothians and Border Yeomanry) Squadron of the Scottish and North Irish Yeomanry will rededicate their memorial at Dunbar Parish Church.

They will then be awarded the freedom of the county and will march from Dunbar Leisure Pool next Saturday (July 6) at 10.45am.

The parade then makes its way along High Street before reaching the Lothians and Border Horse memorial at the church for a special ceremony at 11am.

Captain Alan Hume of the Lothians and Border Yeomanry said: “This is a seminal moment in the history of the Lothians and Border Yeomanry and our relationship with East Lothian.

“Since reforming in 2014, we have grown in capability as light cavalry and reconnected with the East Lothian communities.

“Receiving the Freedom of East Lothian will re-establish the golden thread of our heritage, allowing us to write the next chapter in a proud and distinguished history.”

Dunbar Museum will host an exhibition of military treasures recently returned to the Yeomanry, while the town’s Royal British Legion will play host to a family event.

At a full meeting of East Lothian Council last month, members unanimously agreed to grant the Freedom of the county to the Lothians and Border Yeomanry.

Councillor Jim Goodfellow, East Lothian Council’s Armed Forces champion, will host the civic reception at which the Freedom of East Lothian will be presented to the squadron.

The North Berwick Coastal ward member said: “I’m delighted that we are recognising the important role that the Lothians and Border Yeomanry played, and continues to play, within East Lothian with this rarely-bestowed honour.

“As a signatory of a national Covenant, this council and our partners have committed to supporting members of armed forces community wherever we can.

“The reception and activities on July 6 will provide an occasion to reflect upon the part that the Yeomanry, and all our armed services, play in our society.”

Lothians and Border Yeomanry forms the Edinburgh Squadron of the Scottish and North Irish Yeomanry, the British Army’s newest combat unit.

The squadron takes great pride in continuing the regimental history of the Lothians and Border Horse, which dates from 1797.

As a Yeomanry unit, from its inception, the Lothians were manned by locals who continued to live in their communities, much like the current Army Reserve.

In different incarnations, the regiment saw action throughout the Boer Wars and the First World War.

The 1st Lothians and Border Horse Yeomanry became the first cavalry unit in the British Army to see action during the Second World War in France in 1940, and later became part of the Dunkirk evacuation.

Since the foundation of the contemporary squadron in 2014 at Redford Barracks in Edinburgh, the Lothians have again been represented overseas in Kenya and Poland.

The Lothians and Border Yeomanry will be the first contemporary military unit awarded the Freedom of East Lothian, and only the second reserve unit in Scotland to be awarded the freedom of any Scottish county after the A Squadron of the Queen’s Own Yeomanry – which is now A Squadron of the Scottish and North Irish Yeomanry – was awarded the Freedom of South Ayrshire.