Major Rory McCaffrey of The Rifles has spoken of his pride in joining the freedom parade which will take place in Wellington on Saturday.

Three hundred members of the regiment, cadets and three marching bands, will parade from Wellington School to the council chambers, where they will be awarded the freedom of the town.

After receiving the freedom scroll, the troops will exercise their newfound right by marching back to the school, where a ceremony will take place.

Major McCaffrey, the regional secretary of The Rifles in the South West, said: "The Rifles are looking forward to celebrating the close bond between the 5 Pillars of our regiment (Regulars, Reserves, Cadets, Veterans and Communities) as we parade through Wellington."

"A Freedom Parade of a Town or City is the perfect way to see those pillars at their best, as we remind ourselves of the importance of each pillar to one another. I will feel very proud to be part of this parade and see the true spirit of our great regiment represented in one place, at one time.

"Building relationships with our Freedom towns and cities is a vital part of The Rifles’ ethos, not least because many of our soldiers derive from the local community and continue to work and live in the area once they leave the Army.

"Being able to march through a town is a rare privilege and our Riflemen will be feeling incredibly proud representing their cap badge and the Regiment as they do so in Wellington. I hope this parade will give the citizens of Wellington a good insight into their local regiment and remind our soldiers of those we serve."

Wellington mayor, Marcus Barr, who served in the light infantry, told of his excitement ahead of the event. He said: "I am looking forward to meeting our honoured guests from near and far. This will be a great opportunity to show off Wellington.

"This event is important as it allows the people of this town to connect with our shared history. I also feel that it will allow us to celebrate our Armed Forces in an increasingly uncertain time."

It was the idea of local history enthusiast Chris Penney to bestow the honour on The Rifles. He said: "While promoting the Wellington Monument fund-raising appeal in the Pop-Up Shop I became aware that there were no formal links between the many regiments that has fought at Waterloo and the town.

"A Civic Freedom is a very appropriate way of putting our town on the military map and I am sure The Rifles won’t be the last regiment holding the battle honour “Waterloo” to be granted the Freedom of Wellington."

On the day there will be no parking on either South Street or Fore Street from 6am, with Fore Street closing to all traffic at 1pm and South Street closing at 12pm. The roads will reopen once the parade has finished.