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Royal Marines to be Given Freedom of the City of Birmingham


The city of Birmingham is set to offer The Royal Marines the ‘Freedom of the City’, in honour of their bravery and their strong ties with the city.

The Royal Marines reserve have had a Birmingham detachment for 60 years and are currently based at HMS Forward. The Royal Marines will be the 16th armed forces to receive this honour.

“This is a long time overdue and something they richly deserve.

We have long-term links with the marines, including brave Brummies who have been awarded the Victoria and George Crosses. It’s something we can all be very proud of.”


Several marines from Birmingham who have gone on to be awarded major honours for their bravery:

  • Sergeant Norman Finch (1890-1966): served from 1908-1929. Awarded the Victoria Cross for his part in the Battle of Zeebrugge, Belgium in 1918.
  • Lance Corporal Matt Croucher: Awarded the George Cross for his bravery during service in Helmand Province, Afghanistan in 2008.
  • Marine Jonathan Crookes – joined the Birmingham Detachment in 2005 and was awarded the Commando Dagger for being the best recruit in training.