Unusual new recruit for Bulford army regiment

Mercian Regiment Derby Ram 2 (credit MOD)

9:17am 31st December 2017

A Bulford army regiment has welcomed in a very important new addition to their ranks - a new mascot!

Private Derby XXXII is no ordinary soldier though - he's a ram that's now serving with the Mercian Regiment.

He's been having training to get used to wearing official dress and medals for all of the battalion's ceremonial events.

Derby is a Swaledale ram that's been donated to the regiment by the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire - the pictures here are from the official handover at their Chatsworth estate in Derbyshire.

He's the 32nd regimental mascot that the Duke has handed over to the Regiment, in a tradition that goes back some 160 years.

Mercian Regiment Derby Ram 1 (credit MOD)

It's hoped that Pte Derby will visit the Bulford based 1st Battalion Mercians on Salisbury Plain in the New Year.

The Duke of Devonshire said:

"It is a long standing tradition that the mascot of the Mercian Regiment has been selected from the finest rams in the Chatsworth Swaledale flock. I am very pleased to present the Regiment with their next Private Derby, who I am sure will serve as proudly as his predecessors have done before."

Mercian Regiment Derby Ram 3 (credit MOD)
Colonel of the Regiment, Brigadier (Retd) Andrew Williams OBE, said:

"I am delighted to accept from the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire the gift of our new regimental mascot. Their continued support for their county regiment is greatly appreciated. Private Derby XXXII will be a fine addition to the Regiment and by all accounts is progressing well with his training."

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