A FORMER regimental mascot could once again take its place alongside soldiers on parade if town leaders approve a motion.
The Staffordshire Regiment mascot Watchman proudly accompanied the unit on ceremonial duties before it became the Mercian Regiment in 2007.
Following the merger, all units in the regiment adopted a ram - Lance Corporal Derby - as the official mascot, taking away Watchman’s status with the regiment.
But Robert Pritchard, deputy leader of Tamworth Borough Council, which has granted Watchman ‘freedom of the borough’, has now asked East Staffordshire Borough Council to do the same.
Having freedom of the borough is the highest ceremonial title an authority can bestow and would restore Watchman’s status.
Mick Teasel, chairman of the Burton branch of the Staffordshire Regiment Association, said such a move would preserve a valuable tradition with the unit.
He said: “I think it’s a great idea because Watchman has a long-standing tradition with the regiment.
“It’s always a pleasure when you see Watchman and his handler on parade so it would be a shame not to recognise him.”
Burton has strong links with Watchman, with the town donating the most recent mascot – Corporal Watchman V – in 2009 and his predecessors being buried in the town.
Mr Pritchard, who has asked every council in the county to honour Watchman, told the Mail: “Burton has always been the home of Watchman with at least three being donated from the town.
“It’s a way of restoring his position and honour that was lost when the regiment was merged.”
Richard Grosvenor, leader of East Staffordshire Borough Council, said a decision to grant Watchman freedom of the borough will be considered at a meeting in December.
The Staffordshire Regiment’s tradition of having a mascot dates back to 1882 when a Staffordshire Bull Terrier with the regiment in Egypt jumped from a moving train.
The soldiers thought the animal had died until it staggered into their camp after following the tracks for more than 200 miles.