12th/16th Hunter River Lancers - Exercise the Freedom of Entry

1. Historical significance of the parade

The tradition of freedom of entry to a city, municipality or shire originates from a custom observed by British regiments in marching through the City of London. The Fathers of the City of London claimed that they had the right to forbid bodies of armed troops from marching through the city precincts with bayonets fixed, Colours flying and music playing. This claim was based on a ‘privilege’ which appears to have originated shortly after Charles II became King in 1660.

The custom of granting freedom of entry to a city, municipality or a shire is a privilege extended to only military units and generally to those which have had a close association with the city, municipality or shire in question. Once granted, these units then have the right to exercise freedom of entry.

2. Unit History

Militia training after World War II took some time to reorganise and it was not until 1st May 1948 that a unit known as the 12th/16th Armoured Regiment, (Hunter River Lancers), commanded by Lieutenant Colonel KMH Arnott DSO, came into being, as part of the 1st Armoured Brigade.

The raising of this Regiment combined two original regiments – the 12th Light Horse Regiment (New England Light Horse) and the 16th Light Horse Regiment (Hunter River Lancers).

1948-1950 (Re-Raising the Regiment)

The current Regiment, linked to its past service and sacrifice, has carried on to the present day, sustaining Australian Army operations at home and overseas.

On the 1st May 1948, the 12th/16th Armoured Regiment (Hunter River Lancers) was formed, incorporating the traditions of the 12th, 16th, 24th Regiments, and their predecessors. It was manned by pre-war members of the 12th, 16th and 24th Light Horse, 2nd AIF veterans as well as new recruits and it was equipped with Matilda tanks.

In 1949 the Regiment was renamed the 12th/16th Hunter River Lancers and held its first camp at Singleton in February. It was the first Citizen Military Forces (CMF) Armoured Unit to go into camp since the end of World War II.

The disposition of the Regiment at this time was Regimental Headquarters, plus HQ Squadron, located at Muswellbrook with tank squadrons at Tamworth, Armidale and West Maitland.

Regimental History Soldiers Handbook (PDF 1.1MB)


 3. Parade Route – Start Curtis Park 1100h Sat 28 Oct.

Parade Route

4 .Other timings

Open Day 26-27 October – Curtis Park


Open Day 28 October – Central Park