Waterbeach: Barracks To Formally Close
15 June 2012, 14:16
A military ceremony is to take place to formally mark the closure of a Cambridgeshire army base.
Waterbeach Barracks, near Cambridge, is closing down following defence spending cuts.
Servicemen and women from the base are moving to RAF Kinloss in Scotland.
The land that Waterbeach Barracks is built on is then expected to be sold to housing developers.
A military ceremony to mark the formal closure of the base is taking place in Waterbeach tonight (Friday).
More than 100 guests have been invited to the barracks to a 'Beating Retreat and Freedom Ceremony'.
The Band of the Corps of Royal Engineers will perform the Beating Retreat in front of the assembled guests.
The ceremony is to thank the local community for its support since the base opened in 1966.
During the ceremony, troops will also receive the Freedom of Waterbeach, which will allow them to march through the village with bayonets fixed, colours flying and drums beating.
They will exercise this new right with a march through the village at midday tomorrow (Saturday).
Waterbeach Station Commander, Colonel Andy Phillips said: "The people of Waterbeach have supported us whole heartedly particularly in recent years when many of our soldiers have been deployed on operations overseas.
This evening is just a small token of our appreciation and a way of saying thank you.
We appreciate the genuine goodwill we are regularly shown.
It is also a tremendous honour to receive the Freedom of Waterbeach.
The station has had a long and proud association with the local community over the past 71-years and in particular the past 46-years whilst the Royal Engineers have been resident."