Rare honour for brave West Ham TA unit

A WEST Ham-based Territorial Army unit is to be awarded the freedom of the borough.

Councillors voted to honour the men and women of 7th Battalion The Rifles regiment’s G Company at a meeting last week.

The unit, based at the TA Centre in Portway, have recently served in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

Members have been recognised for their “gallant and courageous service to the country.”

It is the first time since the borough of Newham was created that the award has been given to a group of people rather than an individual.

Mayor Sir Robin Wales, who proposed the motion, said: “We all want to show our pride and support for their commitment and dedication and the courage they inspire in others.

“It is important that we recognise the importance of the men and women who serve on our behalf.

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“This is unusual, but it is the right thing to do.”

Since 1965, just 14 freemen have been created. Before that, just 35 people received the honour from the old county boroughs of East Ham and West Ham.

The award will be formally presented to G Company at the council’s AGM in May.