Manchester City Council



Special Meeting - Freedom of the City, Council - Wednesday, 25th November, 2020 10.00 am

Venue: Virtual meeting -

Contact: Andrew Woods 


No. Item


The Lord Mayor's Announcements and Special Business

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To allow members an opportunity to declare any personal, prejudicial or disclosable pecuniary interest they might have in any items which appear on this agenda; and record any items from which they are precluded from voting as a result of Council Tax or Council rent arrears. Members with a personal interest should declare that at the start of the item under consideration. If members also have a prejudicial or disclosable pecuniary interest they must withdraw from the meeting during the consideration of the item


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Honorary Freedom of the City of Manchester - Battery 209 (The Manchester Artillery)

Motion to be moved by The Right Worshipful The Lord Mayor and seconded by the Leader of the Council –


That the Council hereby records its view that the powers entrusted to it by law of recognising distinctive and eminent service would be properly exercised by conferring the Honorary Freedom of the City of Manchester upon Battery 209 (The Manchester Artillery).


209 Battery, together with its predecessors, has served at home and abroad as a valuable Artillery Corps for some 216 years.


It was established in 1804 as a local volunteer militia force raised across the Manchester area in response to the Napoleonic threat. It was then re-established in 1859 as the United Kingdom moved to establish a standing volunteer army. From 1860 it was garrisoned at Ardwick Green and in 1881 officially awarded the honoury title 'The Manchester Artillery'. It has since enjoyed a close and continuing association with the city as a regular army unit, a territorial unit and now as part of the UK’s expanding professional military reserve, based in Gorton.


Over the subsequent one hundred and forty years, the Manchester Artillery has seen active duty in the Boer War and the First World War served at Gallipoli, Sinai and the Western Front.


The Unit served extensively overseas during the Second World as part of the initial expeditionary force and following extensive fighting in defence of France during which five officers were killed was evacuated from the Dunkirk beaches. Members of the unit subsequently served in the middle east, in the Italian campaign and the subsequent D day landings, moving into Belgium and Holland where they took part in Operation MARKET GARDEN.


Following the restoration of peace the Manchester Artillery returned to its territorial and subsequent army reserve role. In 1947 a recruiting campaign was launched, and many old Dunkirk veterans filled the ranks. Recruit 'Number One' was ex-Sgt Fred Bowker MM, who won his Military Medal at Dunkirk as the 205 Battery Signaller, Manchester Artillery.


The current 209 Battery which now carries the courtesy title has continued to recruit and train Manchester citizens in readiness for the defence of this country at home and abroad. In 2004 members of the battery were deployed to Iraq on Operation TELIC 4 and again in Iraq in 2007 where Sgt Crowley (209 Battery) became the first soldier from the Manchester Artillery to command and fire an artillery gun in action since 1945.

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