It is a real privilege for the Royal Marines to be given the Freedom of the City of Birmingham. This honour, the city’s highest, demonstrates the strong and enduring relationship between the Royal Marines and Birmingham

Major General Charlie Stickland OBE, Commandant General of the Royal Marines

Additionally in 2008 Lance Corporal Matt Croucher, a member of the Royal Marines Reserve Birmingham detachment was awarded the George Cross for an unselfish act whilst on patrol in Afghanistan.

Without regard for his own safety, he threw himself on top of a grenade, using only his body, protected by body armour and rucksack to absorb the explosion, saving his life and his comrades. 

Birmingham bestows special honour on the Royal Marines

Joining the Guard were Reservists (RMR) from the Birmingham detachment based at HMS Forward as well as others from RMR Mersey, in Liverpool. Royal Marines Cadets from Units around the West Midlands and Royal Marines Association members also paraded, representing the ‘Corps Family’, which boasts strong community connections to the Royal Marines. 

“It is a real privilege for the Royal Marines to be given the Freedom of the City of Birmingham. This honour, the City’s highest, demonstrates the strong and enduring relationship between the Royal Marines and Birmingham,” said Major General Charlie Stickland.

“I would like to thank the City of Birmingham and the City Council for bestowing the Freedom of the City of Birmingham on the Royal Marines, granting us the privilege to march through the city with drums beating, colours flying and bayonets fixed.  It truly is a special honour.”

The Royal Marines Reserves have had a Birmingham detachment based in the City since 1957, currently based at HMS Forward in Bordesley Green.

The Royal Marines are the 16th Armed Forces Unit granted the Freedom of Birmingham. The tradition dates from when fortress walls were necessary to protect a City’s inhabitants from outlaw bands and attacks from feudal lords.

Bodies of armed men were refused entry unless the citizens were confident that they meant no harm. The granting of permission for a formed body of armed men to enter became a mark of trust and confidence held by a City’s citizens.

To be granted freedom of a City is the greatest honour that can be bestowed on a formed Unit of the Armed Forces.

Royal Marines Band Service

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HMS Forward (Birmingham)

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Royal Marines Commando

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