THE Duke & Duchess of Devonshire will officially present the new mascot of the Mercian Regiment to the Colonel of the Mercian Regiment at Chatsworth on Thursday 21 December 2018.
Pte Derby, as he is known, is a Swaledale ram from the Duke’s own Chatsworth Estate flock. He is the 32nd of a long line of Regimental Mascots that the Duke of Devonshire has donated to the Regiment.
Pte Derby XXXII was carefully selected for his fine looks and strong character. He has been undergoing training with his handlers from the Regiment to get him used to the coat and medals he wears on parade.
The Regimental Mascot plays an important role leading the Mercian Regiment on public duties and is a symbol of the strength, ethos and heritage of the Regiment.
His predecessor led the Regiment on prestigious parades including changing the guard at Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle.
The new Pte Derby appears to be taking well to his role and is expected to attract an enthusiastic following across the counties of Mercia. The presentation on 21 December will be his first official engagement after which his training will continue to prepare him for his first Mercian Regiment parade in Lichfield on Saturday 13 January 2018.
Colonel of the Regiment, Brigadier (Retd) Andrew Williams OBE, said, "I am delighted to accept from the Duke & 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.
“We are all looking forward to being on parade on 13 January with our new mascot, such an important part of the spirit and ethos of the Heart of England's Infantry, the Mercian Regiment.”