A PUBLIC campaign has been launched to build a life-size bronze statue of Sgt Watchman V to honour all the mascots and handlers that have served the Staffordshire Regiment, as well as all the servicemen of the Regiment itself.
The statue, to be located in Tamworth, would be the first statue in Staffordshire of the regiment’s mascot and serve as the newest memorial to the Staffordshire Regiment and the wider regimental family.
Watchman is a familiar face to many people in Tamworth and a much loved mascot. Recently crowned the ‘Westminster Dog of the Year’, all Watchman have attracted much public attention and love, over the many decades of service to the Regiment.
Cllr Robert Pritchard said: “We can think of no more fitting tribute to the Regiment than a bronze statue of Sgt Watchman V. Watchman and their handlers carry out their duties on a voluntary basis and give up much of their time to carry out this important duty. We believe they deserve a statue to Watchman and his predecessors in a public place, to thank them for their selfless service to the Regiment and County.“
WO2 Greg Hedges, handler of Sgt Watchman V, said: “We are very humbled by this project, it was great to meet so many people who wanted to honour Watchman and the Regiment in such a public way.”
A life size bronze statue has now been commissioned and campaigners need to raise the funds. The estimated cost is £10k and they have already received £2k towards their goal.
Tamworth MP Christopher Pincher said: “I am delighted to support the project and help Tamworth be the first town in the county to have a statue of Watchman as a symbol of our local military history. As Remembrance Sunday approaches it is an important time to honour and reflect on the sacrifices made by the men and women who protect our country. I hope the community can get behind the project and help make it a success.”
Lee Bates, of Community Together CIC said: “Watchman is such a popular mascot that almost everyone has either heard of him or met him. Tamworth has always had strong links with our local regiments and it’s only right that we honour Watchman and the Staffordshire Regiment in Tamworth. A true community mascot deserves to know just how much the community loves him.”
Donations can also be made at https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/Watchmanstatue.