Members of the Parachute Regiment march through Colchester which has been a garrison for 2,000 years
Members of the Parachute Regiment march through Colchester which has been a garrison for 2,000 years (Picture: MOD © Crown Copyright 2021).
Army

Soldiers 'proud' to call Colchester home as it gains city status

Members of the Parachute Regiment march through Colchester which has been a garrison for 2,000 years
Members of the Parachute Regiment march through Colchester which has been a garrison for 2,000 years (Picture: MOD © Crown Copyright 2021).

Soldiers have said they are "proud to call Colchester our home" as the town was given city status.

Colchester, north Essex, has a rich military history and 16 Air Assault Brigade Combat Team tweeted they are "honoured" that Colchester's role as a garrison helped earn its city status.

Colchester, home to Merville Barracks, is Britain's first recorded settlement and its first capital.

It has been a modern Garrison Town for the past 165 years and for the past 21 years has been home to 16 Air Assault Brigade, the UK's rapid response force.

Seven hundred and fifty troops from Colchester deployed to Kabul, Afghanistan, last August to help with the evacuation mission.

Colchester Garrison Commander, Lieutenant Colonel Ed Rankin, said: "The civilian and military communities have always enjoyed a hugely supportive relationship, which has given countless generations of soldiers a launchpad to deploy on operations, safe in the knowledge that their families will be embraced by the local community."

Eight towns have been granted city status as part of celebrations for the Queen's Platinum Jubilee.

Stanley in the Falkland Islands is the first Overseas Territory to win the competition for city status. 

The award for the Falklands capital comes as the 40th anniversary of the end of the Falklands War is being marked.

Argentine forces invaded the Falklands on 2 April 1982 and residents have come together to remember the sacrifices made during the conflict.

Military personnel from all three services are based in the Falkland Islands.

Other towns becoming cities are Douglas on the Isle of Man, Bangor, Doncaster, Milton Keynes, Dunfermline and Wrexham. 

The new cities can expect a boost to local communities and the opening up of new opportunities for people who live there, according to the Cabinet Office.

Gibraltar, which has a large military presence, applied for city status but was unsuccessful.