MORE than 200 troops will help mark the centenary of two local men winning the Victoria Cross by parading through Dewsbury town centre.
It has been five years since the 3rd Battalion The Rifles last exercised their ‘Freedom of the Borough’ rights in Dewsbury, and they will be doing it again on April 29.
Before they march, the troops will pause whilst officials from the council and army unveil the two commemorative stones in the town’s peace garden, marking 100 years since Sgt John William Ormsby and Pte Horace Waller won their VCs for exceptional bravery in April, 1917.
The Mayor of Kirklees, Coun Jim Dodds BEM, said: “The parade is a fitting time to mark the brave contribution of two local men 100 years ago.
“The Victoria Cross is the highest and most prestigious military decoration awarded for valour ‘in the face of the enemy’ to those serving in British and Commonwealth armed forces.
“In 2013 the UK Government announced that those recipients of a Victoria Cross for their heroic deeds in the First World War are to be honoured with commemorative paving stones – and so we will honour our heroes.”
The 3rd Battalion The Rifles was only formed 10 years ago as infantry battalions merged, but it has maintained the tradition of recruiting in the Dewsbury area.
Coun Dodds will be taking the salute outside Dewsbury Town Hall before the Band and Bugles of the Rifles lead the parade from there.
Also on parade will be members of D (Rifles) Company, who will form part of the new 8th Battalion The Rifles, which was only formed this month.
Colonel Nick Ilic, Yorkshire Rifles County Colonel, said: “The historic links between The Rifles and the town of Dewsbury means a great deal to us. We are both humbled and proud to be able to mark them with a Freedom Parade through the town centre.
“We cherish the relationship we have with the community in Dewsbury and it will be a special moment.”
The parade will take place from 11am.