POURING rain failed to dampen spirits in Lyme Regis on Saturday, as The Rifles exercised their right to march through the town.
Lyme Regis granted the Freedom of the Borough to the Dorset Regiment in 1945, and today is one of 12 towns in Dorset which has granted Freedom to its successor regiment, The Rifles.
The county regiment marched through the town on Saturday as part of commemorations to mark 100 years since the end of the First World War.
The Rifles marched down Broad Street and along Bridge Street and Church Street, with the Mayor of Lyme Regis, Councillor Michaela Ellis, and the civic party lined up outside the Guildhall.
They then lined up in Monmouth Street, while a service of re-dedication took place at the town’s war memorial, which has been refurbished with the addition of five more names of men from Lyme Regis who lost their lives during the Great War.
The new-look memorial was unveiled by Royal British Legion members Vernon Rattenbury and David Humphrey, who carried out the research into the five additional men.
Special guests at the service included High Sheriff of Dorset, Jacqueline Swift; the Lord Lieutenant of Dorset, Angus Campbell; mayors from other Freedom towns including Bournemouth, Bridport and Sherborne; the South West Deputy Regimental Rifles Colonel, Brigadier Charlie Maconochie; town councillors and other members of the Lyme Regis branch of the Royal British Legion.
Philip Evans MBE, president of the Lyme Regis branch of the Royal British Legion, delivered the Exhortation. The Last Post was played, followed by a minute’s silence and the national anthem.
Following the service, The Rifles marched along Coombe Street and onto the seafront, taking the salute as they passed the civic party on Marine Parade.
They were then greeted by the mayor before attending a reception at the Woodmead Halls, where they were treated by a fish and chip supper and a bottle of beer each from Lyme Regis Brewery.