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Lichfield pub to host official promotion ceremony for Staffordshire Regiment’s mascot

A Lichfield pub will host a special ceremony which will see the Staffordshire Regiment’s four-legged mascot promoted.

Sgt Watchman V with the Lord Lieutenant of Staffordshire, Ian Dudson CBE and his wife Jane Dudson

Sgt Watchman V with the Lord Lieutenant of Staffordshire, Ian Dudson CBE and his wife Jane Dudson

The Kings Head Pub, birthplace of the Staffordshire Regiment, will see the bull terrier, Sgt Watchman V, rewarded for his efforts during the last 18 months with a promotion to the rank of Colour Sergeant.

The ceremony will take place at 11am on December 21 at the pub, which was recently purchased and refurbished by Staffordshire Regiment veterans.

Greg Hedges, Handler of Sgt Watchman V, said: “The Kings Head is an obvious choice for Watchman’s promotion ceremony.

“As the regiment’s birthplace and a place the regiment came together to purchase, it is very much our home.

“Watchman’s promotion to Colour Sergeant is the military way of celebrating the work he has done this year. The fact that the proposal to promote him as come from Regimental Association members is all the more poignant.”

The role of Watchman is steeped in tradition and the bull terrier mascot has been representing the serving men and women of Staffordshire for more than 130 years.

Since the Mercian Regiment was formed in 2007, Watchman has continued his ceremonial role as mascot of the Staffordshire Regiment Association.

Greg added: “Watchman was last promoted on St George’s Day and this year he is being promoted on Ferozeshah day.

“This is the day the Staffordshire Regiment family come together to celebrate an outstanding military victory which earned the Regiment a mention in Parliament by none other than the Duke of Wellington, who always appreciated the dogged determination of front line infantry.”

The official promotion is traditionally conducted by the consort of Staffordshire’s Lord Lieutenant, meaning Jane Dudson will perform the honours on the day – 18 months after she promoted Watchman to Sergeant.

In that time, Sgt Watchman V has carried out work as part of WW1 commemorations. He has also been crowned winner of the public vote in the Westminster Dog of the year competition and has had a statue commissioned in his honour.

In November he attended the Field of Remembrance Service outside Westminster Abbey and was greeted by HRH Prince Harry, who remembered him from previous years.

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