Muttony in the ranks: British Army ram promoted to lance corporal
A British Army mascot has little to be sheepish about after being promoted - for good behaviour.
The Swaledale ram, who is the regimental totem of the 2nd Battalion The Mercian Regiment has quite literally earned his stripe, after being made up to Lance Corporal.
Formerly private - now L/Cpl Derby was presented with his single stripe as the Army unit celebrated its formation day at Dale Barracks in Chester, yesterday.
The promotion was presented by the Colonel of the Regiment Brigadier Andrew Williams.
Throughout the ceremony, the ram - the 30th of that name - was flanked by Ram Major Corporal Philip Thornton, from Mansfield, and Private Stuart McLean of Denton, Manchester.
Commanding officer Lt Col Ben Wilde said: "This is the latest in a long line of Derbys to have served as our regimental mascot.
"Not all of them are as well behaved as our newest was today - he is well deserving of his promotion."
The tradition of the ram dates to 1858 when the first Private Derby was "acquired" by the 95th (Derbyshire) Regiment of Foot during the siege and subsequent capture of Kotah during the Indian Mutiny campaign.