Display piece on REME Freedom of the Town
This framed document was part or is a copy of a part of the display about Wokingham at the REME museum in Arborfield. Displayed alongside the original framed certificate it talks about the event conferring Honorary Freeman of the Town to the Corps and other parades over the years.
On 21st October 1978 Wokingham Town conferred the title of Honorary Townspeople on the Corps of REME.
To celebrate a 36 year association five companies of REME troops, as a Town Guard representing the Corps' diverse roles, marched through Wokingham.
This special occasion consisted of:
A special Town Council meeting, to grant REME the status of Honorary Townspeople
A REME march past through the town by the Town Guard, the REME band and the representative companies.
The public presentation of the illuminated address seen in this display case.
A reception for REME hosted by the town.
A cocktail party for the Mayor and officials, hosted by the Corps at West Court Officers Mess
The Colonel in Chief of REME, HRH the Prince Phillip sent the following message to Wokingham Town:
"I know that all members of the Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers very much appreciate this generous and hospitable gesture by the Mayor, Council and people of Wokingham. The men who train so hard to provide Britain's capacity to defend herself against aggression have been known to feel their efforts are not always appreciated by their fellow citizens. Conferring the status of Honorary Townspeople of Wokingham on all members of the Corps is a wonderful encouragement to us all."
Until 1989, REME paraded through Wokingham annually to celebrate its status as Honorary Townspeople of Wokingham. In recent years, with military cutbacks, these parades have been reserved for special occasions such as the Corps' 50th anniversary in 1992. Many retired members of REME have settled in the town.
The Corps retains this warm relationship with the people of Wokingham, as shown by subsequent parades in 1997 and in 2002, its 60th anniversary year.