18:15 Tuesday 10 December 2013

Watchman mascot could be laid to rest in Burton

Written byLAURA HAMMOND

Burton Remembrance Day Parade.Colour Sgt Malcolm Bower + Colour Sgt Watchman IV Burton Remembrance Day Parade.Colour Sgt Malcolm Bower + Colour Sgt Watchman IV

THE mascot tradition in the regiments of Staffordshire stretches back to the 19th century.

In 1882, the South Staffordshire Regiment was order to the relief of General Gordon, who was besieged in Khaartoum.

As they made their way there, the regiment’s Staffordshire bull terrier Boxer leapt from the moving train and was seen lying unconscious at the side of the tracks.

It seemed he was lost forever, but a few days later, as the regiment awaited orders for the final phase of their march when they were encamped at Asiut, a very thin and bedraggled Boxer staggered into the camp and collapsed.

He had walked 200 miles along the scorching desert railway track to rejoin his regiment.

The tradition of having a mascot continued until after the Second World War.

Watchman I was presented to the regiment in 1949, and was received by the Queen when she came to visit Burton in March 1957.

He was the first to be interred in the town hall lawns in 1959.

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