RAF Cosford to receive the Freedom of the City
RAF Cosford will receive the Freedom of the City of Birmingham during a special ceremony in Victoria Square on Saturday (19 May 2018).
Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Cllr Anne Underwood, will present the honour to Group Captain Tone Baker OBE, Station Commander RAF Cosford, before the unit parade through the city centre.
This honour is to be bestowed as the RAF celebrates its centenary year, and RAF Cosford marks its 80th anniversary. In doing so, it will become the 17th armed forces unit to receive the Freedom of the City, which means that they can “march with drums beating, bands playing, colours flying and bayonets fixed.”
The event will begin at 10.40am with music from the RAF College Band, before RAF Cosford march onto Victoria Square at 11am, for the ceremony. This will be followed by a parade along Waterloo Street and Temple Row to the Cathedral, along Colmore Row and back into Victoria Square.
Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Councillor Anne Underwood, said: “The City is very proud to honour RAF Cosford and recognise its links to Birmingham by bestowing upon the Corps the Freedom of the City. I hope that many people will come along to watch the parade and join in the celebrations."
Being the mainstay of the RAF’s manpower in the West Midlands, RAF Cosford plays a full and active part in ceremonial events throughout Birmingham and the wider Midlands region
RAF Cosford’s links to the city also include its long training relationship with the University of Birmingham, which has its own Air Squadron Unit based at its Edgbaston campus.
Group Captain Tone Baker OBE, Station Commander of RAF Cosford, said: “It is a great privilege for RAF Cosford to have the Freedom of Birmingham bestowed upon it; the men and women who have served on the Station since 1938 have always had a close relationship with the city and its people. During World War II, when the nation faced its greatest crisis, Birmingham and RAF Cosford worked together to provide many of the Spitfires and other aircraft that were needed on the front line in the defence of the United Kingdom. Our parade honours the 80-year relationship and looks forward to many more years of working together.”
There will be a number of road closures in place in the city centre between 9am to 2pm including the parade route.