Soldiers from across the West Midlands are set for a heroes’ welcome as they march through Birmingham on Wednesday.
Some 150 soldiers from the 26th Regiment The Royal Artillery will take to the city’s streets having completed three tours in Afghanistan and three further tours of Iraq.
The parade begins at 11.25am from outside Birmingham Council House, although people who want to watch are advised to get there by around 11am.
The unit, which is currently based in Gutersloh, Germany, will start in Victoria Square, move into New Street, then parade into Colmore Row and Bennetts Hill before returning to Victoria Square.
A one minute silence will also be observed during the ceremony to commemorate the lives of those soldiers who did not return home with the unit.
The troops will enjoy the Freedom of Birmingham, a rare honour awarded to just five regiments in the past by the city.
Lieutenant Colonel Karl Ford, the regiment’s commanding officer, said: “The Regiment has just returned from service in Iraq and Afghanistan, where it endured the most testing conditions.
“To be given the Freedom is a great privilege, and reflects public recognition of the invaluable service of our Armed Forces.
“All of us in the “West Midland’s Gunners”, and particularly those who hail from Birmingham, are extremely proud of this honour, and thankful to both the Lord Mayor and the people of Birmingham.”
Following the parade, soldiers have been invited to the Lord Mayor’s reception where they will meet local dignitaries. Councillor Michael Wilkes, the current Lord Mayor of Birmingham, said: “The people of Birmingham will be giving the warmest of welcomes to the 26th Regiment, Royal Artillery on Wednesday, July 22.”