The highest honour a city can bestow will be awarded to the Edinburgh Squadron of the Scottish and North Irish Yeomanry (SNIY) following a motion by the Lord Provost and unanimous support at a meeting of the City of Edinburgh Council. The Freedom of the City is Edinburgh’s most prestigious honour and is “bestowed upon those who are held in the highest esteem.” It is a tradition that dates back over 560 years to 1459. The Scottish and North Irish Yeomanry is the Army’s newest combat regiment and is based at Redford Barracks. Entering the Army’s order of battle in 2014, the regiment’s predecessors have a proud history that stretches back hundreds of years. It is formed of four Squadrons: Earl of Carrick’s Own Squadron based in Ayr, North Irish Horse Squadron in Belfast, Fife & Forfar/Scottish Horse based in Cupar Squadron and in Edinburgh the Lothians & Border Yeomanry Squadron.
The latter’s ancestor regiments were formed by Sir Walter Scott and the move to honour the squadron in 2021 marks a further commemoration of the 250th anniversary of his birth. The regiments also protected the Lord Provost on North Bridge, formed the Reconnaissance Unit for the 51st Highland Division at St Valery in 1940 and more recently supported the NHS. Edinburgh’s Lord Provost Frank Ross, said: “The Scottish and North Irish Yeomanry Squadron has become an integral part of this city’s long and proud history. It has a rich history and role in Scotland’s past and at the forefront of the military contribution at home and abroad and has a proud and deep connection within the communities in which we live and serve. With its Edinburgh roots founded by Sir Walter Scott, and in this the 250th anniversary of his birth, it feels particularly fitting to show our pride and gratitude with this lasting tribute.”