Coventry & Warwickshire

Fusiliers awarded Freedom of Entry in Nuneaton

The Second Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, at the Freedom of Entry parade in Nuneaton
The troops are only the third group to be given the Freedom of Entry in the borough's history

Troops who served in Afghanistan have received the Freedom of Entry to a town in Warwickshire.

The Second Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, marched through Nuneaton for a presentation by the mayor outside the town hall.

Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council said it was the highest honour the town could bestow on the men and had only been awarded twice in its history.

Seven troops died in active service in Helmand Province in 2009.

The 500 strong unit was sent to the province for a six-month counter-insurgency operation that ended in October 2009.

The men who died were Sgt Simon Valentine, from Bedworth, L/Cpl James Fullarton and Fusilier Shaun Bush, from Coventry, Fusilier Louis Carter from Nuneaton, Warwickshire, Cpl Joey Etchells from Mossley, Lancashire, Fusilier Simon Annis from Salford, Greater Manchester, and Fijian-born Fusilier Pat Suesue, of Hounslow, west London.

Previously the Freedom of Entry was awarded to the Junior Leader's Regiment, Royal Artillery, in 1972 and again in 2002 to the 30th Signal Regiment, both based at Bramcote, Warwickshire.

One person was arrested after the parade as police kept apart members of the Asian community and a group thought to contain English Defence League sympathisers.

"There was much chanting and potential provocation from both groups, but fortunately no-one was injured," said a police spokesman.

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