Blue the dog promoted to Bombardier

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By Amanda MacMillan

A TERRIER dog was recognised for his service today (Mon) as he was promoted to Bombardier at a ceremony at Edinburgh Castle.

Blue, the official mascot of the One O’clock Gun and Time Ball Association (OCGTA) – a position that he has held for two years – was promoted from Lance Bombardier and became the first ever animal to be promoted in the Regiment.

The pooch received the two-striped chevron just after the one o’clock gun was fired.

It is now pinned pride of place on his little coat.

Brian McKenzie, chairman of the OCGTA, said: “I think it’s brilliant, he deserves it.

“It’s great. Look at how many people are here. It’s great for our organisation and it’s great for Edinburgh.”

The promotion of the pooch coincides with World Animal Day and the OCGTA organised a children’s painting competition about Greyfriars Bobby to help celebrate.

Little Blue has been going around schools helping to tell the story of the famous terrier who was so devoted to his master John Gray, even in death.

Lieutenant Colonel Chris Huthwaite, commanding officer of 105 Regiment Royal Artillery (Volunteers), gave the Blue his honours and presented prizes to the winners of the painting competition.

He said: “It was a genuine pleasure to have been invited to present the prizes to the school children who have worked so very hard.

“The Regiment has a long tradition and strong relationship with the OCGTA, with our operation L118 Light Gun ‘The One O’clock Gun’ being fired daily (excluding Sundays) by Sergeant Jamie Shannon ‘Shannon-the-Cannon’ a non-commissioned officer from my Regiment.

“I also promoted Blue to Bombardier. He was due a pay rise.”

Winners of the Greyfriars Bobby competition were:

Infant section (0-3 year olds) – William Ewins

Section 1 (3-6 year olds) Ellen Hunter

Section 2 (7-9 year olds) Katie Ford, Wardie School, Edinburgh

Section 3 (10-13 year olds) Chloe Smith, Canongate Primary School, St. Andrews

Section 4 (14-17 year olds) Trey Cameron Drury, Brae High School, Shetland

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