Freemen of the Borough of Test Valley
Councils can grant ‘Freeman of the Borough’ status to people or groups of people who have done outstanding things for the area. It is the highest honorary accolade that a council can grant.
Test Valley Borough Council has granted Freedom of the Borough on three occasions to:
The Army Air Corps
The present Army Air Corps (AAC) was formed in 1957, and is based at the Army Aviation Centre in Middle Wallop.
The AAC uses approximately 200 helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft to provide battlefield support, casualty recovery, reconnaissance and logistics during conflict. They are part of the British Army, not the Royal Air Force, and nearly every brigade in the Army has at least one AAC squadron which usually consists of 12 aircraft.
The Corps of Royal Engineers
The Corps of Royal Engineers (CRE) traces its origins back to the military engineers brought to England by William the Conqueror. To this day, they offer military engineering and technical support to the British Armed Forces. The Corps is made up of 15 regiments and is represented locally by 22 Engineer Regiment, based at Swinton Barracks near Tidworth in Wiltshire.
The CRE has conducted some of the most significant civil engineering schemes in the world, such as designing the Royal Albert Hall and Pentonville Prison in London, as well as implementing irrigation and canal projects in India during the colonial era. During battle, the “Sappers” enable troops to move, live and fight by clearing routes through minefields and building temporary accommodation and structures such as runways and bridges. During post-conflict reconstruction the CRE take on many roles, including the building ofhospitals and other essential structures and ensuring the supply of water and electricity.
The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment
In 1992, The Royal Hampshire Regiment merged with The Queen’s Regiment to become The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment (PWRR), which inherited the Freedom of the Borough granted to The Royal Hampshire Regiment.
Nicknamed the Tigers, the PWRR is the English senior line infantry regiment of the British Army, and was named in honour of Diana, Princess of Wales. The regiment has been involved in every major conflict since the Second World War, and is the most decorated in the British Army, having been awarded 57 Victoria Crosses for acts of valour and gallantry.