Cookies information uses cookies to make the site simpler. Find out more about the cookies we use.

Close banner

Exeter honours The Rifles: Armed Forces Day & Freedom of the City March

Published: 1 June 2023

Exeter honours The Rifles Exeter honours The Rifles

As in previous years, Exeter City Council will be marking Armed Forces Day a week before the national Armed Forces Day and as part of this year’s event, The Rifles will be exercising their Freedom of the City on Saturday 17 June.

There will be a number of service military personnel, associations, cadets, and scouts marching through the city, along with a 'Military Village' taking place on Cathedral Green. This will include recruiting stalls from some of the organisations and associations.

The parade will set off from outside the Civic Centre at 11am. The Freedom of the City Parade will be led by The Rifles' Salamanca Band, and the Armed Forces Day Parade will be led by the Barnstaple Youth Band, who are affiliated with the Salamanca Band.

The parade will march down the High Street to Exeter’s historic Guildhall, where a salute will be taken in the presence of the Lord Mayor of Exeter, Cllr Kevin Mitchell.

This year, the Military Village will join with InExeter’s Independent Market and will be open to the public from 10am until 4pm.

Cllr Martin Pearce, Exeter City Council’s Armed Forces Champion, said: "As we commemorate Armed Forces Day, we demonstrate our profound respect for the brave men and women in uniform. This year, we witness The Rifles exercise their Freedom of the City, showcasing the rich tapestry of our military heritage.

“It’s heartwarming to see our vibrant High Street alive with the spirit of community and gratitude. Truly, a day to remember."

Under the Local Government Act 1972, Exeter City Council are allowed to grant the Freedom of the City to those who deserve the honour. The Council choose to honour military units with a close connection to the city.

The honour grants the military unit the freedom 'to march through the streets of the city with bayonets fixed, drums beating, and Colours flying'.

The Rifles (formerly the Devonshire & Dorset Regiment) were granted Freedom in June 2007. They are the third oldest regiment affiliated with the city.

The Rifles are the British Army’s largest infantry regiment, at the forefront of overseas operations. There are eight Battalions located around the UK, with 6 RIFLES being located in Exeter, at Wyvern Barracks.

For more information please visit: The Rifles | The British Army (

Share this page on...