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Staffordshire Bull Terrier who loyally served regiment honored with special farewell

Dogart_thumb By Ellen | December 20, 2013 | Comments (2)

Military honors for funeral of Staffordshire Terrier mascot
Stormer the Staffordshire Bull Terrier was given special military honors. Photo: Express UK

A Staffordshire Bull Terrier named Stormer was given a special ceremony and military honors after he passed away at age 15. Stormer served as regimental mascot of the Staffordshire Regiment in the United Kingdom for 10 years. The loyal dog honored a tradition of Staffie mascots that dates back to 1882 and the Siege of Khartoum, where the British were at war. As history has it, the Watchman mascot tradition came about because of the loyal actions of a Staffordshire Bull Terrier named Boxer. According to The Staffordshire Regiment Museum:

"In 1882 The South Staffordshire Regiment was ordered to march with Lord Wolseley to the relief of General Gordon who was besieged in Khartoum. They entrained at Cairo with their Staffordshire Bull Terrier “Boxer”. Unfortunately Boxer leapt from the moving train and was seen lying unconscious or dead at the side of the track.

A few days later when the Regiment encamped at Assiut awaiting orders for the final phase of their march, a very thin and bedraggled dog staggered into their camp and collapsed. Boxer had walked for over 200 miles along the scorching desert railway track to rejoin his regiment, a true soldier.

From then on, the tradition of having a Bull Terrier as a mascot continued with the battalions until after the Second World War."

Stormer retired as Colour Sergeant Watchman IV in 2009 after his handler, Colour Sergeant Malcolm Bower, passed away. Well loved by his regiment, Stormer was carried by soldiers in a coffin covered with a Union Flag and buried alongside his predecessors. 

At the ceremony, Charlotte Bower, the daughter of Malcolm Bower, told the audience "Stormer was a wonderful and loyal dog. When his coat was put on he knew exactly what was expected of him."

Read more about Stormer's ceremony here.

Colour Sergeant Watchman IV Stormer and Colour Sergeant Malcom Bower
Stormer, Colour Sergeant Watchman IV and his handler, Colour Sergeant Malcolm Bower.

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Comments on this Article

It's great that they are showing Stormer this respect. It's something to keep in mind when we hear of individuals that walk away from animal abuse crimes against dogs with what seems to be a slap on the wrist. The domesticated dog has served and saved so many human lives throughout our history. They have given their lives freely for us, guarded our families, and watched over our sick. Perhaps our lawmakers and our judges should look at these soldiers in this photo honoring a dog with great respect, when someone makes the suggestion it's only a dog. Rest in peace Stormer, I'm sure you've found your way into the arms of Malcolm. Peace.
Beautiful and sad at the same time. Stormer had a great life filled with love, danger and excitement. He lived to a grand old age.
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