2nd Battalion The Mercian Regiment marches through Chesterfield - with Private Derby the 30th

The 2nd Battalion The Mercian Regiment marched through Chesterfield and paraded outside the town hall today, writes Jack Grasby.

The regiment did a short march after they were presented with their new ram and mascot - Private Derby the 30th - by the Duchess of Devonshire.

Mercian Batallion in Chesterfield

Mercian Batallion in Chesterfield

A salute was taken on the town hall steps by Lord Lieutenant William Tucker and Chesterfield Mayor Councillor Paul Stone.

Accepting the ram, Colonel of the Mercian Regiment Brigadier Andrew Williams said that he was delighted to get the new mascot.

He added: “I’m especially grateful to the grace, the Duchess and the Duke of Devonshire for perpetrating this tradition of over 100 years old which has seen the finest ram from the Chatsworth flock being selected and presented to the regiment.

“The ram to us represents some of the finest qualities of our soldiers, as you can see he is quiet and steadfast and I have no doubt in battle he would be courageous and fearless.

“Finally, to you, the people of Chesterfield, we rely very heavily on your support and we are delighted to see so many people here today.

“I hope and I am sure that your support for us, your regiment, will continue and in return I promise that you will see very much more of this magnificent ram, Derby the 30th.”

Members of the public turned out to meet the new mascot and watch the parade, which lasted about 15 minutes and went from the town hall on Rose Hill into the town centre and back.

Councillor Graham King, Chesterfield Borough Council’s executive member for governance, said: “2nd Battallion The Mercian Regiment is made up of many local young people and this was an opportunity for our residents to come along and show how much they appreciate the work of our armed forces.”