Freedom of town honour for Adam and fellow Marines
PUBLISHED: 07:00 16 June 2014
PUBLIC appreciation is just one of the honours which comes with receiving the freedom of the town, according to a Weston Royal Marine who will march into Princess Royal Square with his fellow Commandos next week.
Lance Corporal Adam Gunningham, aged 25, has served in the Royal Marines for the past six years, and is now preparing to receive the freedom award – a ceremonial honour which has not been bestowed in Weston since 1969.
The honour will be given to 500 Marines from Taunton-based Royal Commando on June 21, after they parade through the town led by the Royal Marines Band.
Lance Corporal Gunningham, of Locking Castle, is one of the Marines who will be granted the freedom of Weston in a ceremony likely to be watched by thousands of people, as well as Lord Lieutenant of Somerset Lady Gass and Brigadier Dunham, Deputy Commandant General of the Royal Marines.
He said: “I think it’s absolutely brilliant to be part of something so big.
“It’s nice when you feel noticed, to see civilians show their support makes you feel a lot better and appreciated, especially when you have been to Afghanistan.
“It’s a great feeling.”
Lance Corp. Gunningham said he decided to become a Marine to ‘achieve something in life’ and wanted to do his part for his country.
He said: “I wanted to do something different and push my limits to see how far I could come.
“Afghanistan was a tough tour but it was also rewarding, all of the training we completed, we were able to use.
“It’s always going to be scary but we trained well for it and we were as prepared as we could be.
“The initial training for the Marines was difficult but it’s hard for a reason, so when you do deploy you’re ready for it.
“It’s not an easy world and so the training is not easy.”
The parade will begin at 10.30am in Regent Street, followed by the formal ceremony at Princess Royal Square at 11am, where mayor Roz Willis will hand commanding officers a ceremonial scroll confirming the freedom award.