DescriptionA silver Waiter of shaped circular form, with applied Celtic border surrounding a plain recessed centre all supported upon four cast scrolled rim feet. The recessed centre inscribed, engraved uppermost, with the Badge of the Corps of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, inscribed below this:
"Presented to the Wokingham Town Council by the
Corps of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers
On the occasion them being granted the honour of becoming
Honorary Townspeople of Wokingham - 21 October 1978"
The Waiter contained in a baize lined, polished wooden presentation case.
This honour was bestowed upon the Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers on October 21st 1978 by the town of Wokingham for the services they gave to the inhabitants of the town, especially the voluntary help given to local schools and organisations, both by the Garrison and Apprentices of Princess Marina College.
The Mayor and Members of Council also in the past years have enjoyed the hospitality of the Garrison on numerous occasions.
When first given the honour, the Corps, on the anniversary of the installation, would parade with the Band of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, in full dress, for inspection by the Mayor. They would then march through the Town via Rose Street, Peach Street, Wellington Road where they dismissed, with "Bayonets fixed and Drums Beating". This being a traditional Freedom ceremony. This indeed was a very picturesque and impressive event and one the town inhabitants eagerly awaited each year.
Unfortunately as time advanced, traffic became more congested, and the Armed Forces committed to more military actions, the event had to be modified and the frequency of it being held curtailed. Thus it became a static event in one place and the town march done away with. Broad Street became the arena with troops and band in all their glory, with the Town Mayor and Councillors in full robes; the occasion still remaining as impressive as ever.
In recent years it was held every 5 years and on very special occasions in the history of the Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers such as November 30th 2002 when the Corps celebrated the Sixtieth Anniversary of their Founding. The most recent parade was in 2015 just before the Corp moved to Lyneham in Wiltshire. Future parades are unlikely however the Corp still retains the Freedom and the right to march.
Garrod and Co Ltd, “REME Waiter,” Wokingham's Virtual Museum, accessed July 22, 2019, https://wokingham-tc.gov.uk/museum/document/WTH0227.