Working dogs to be remembered at Armistice Day ceremony

Working dogs remembered

Working dogs remembered

Cannock Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is inviting working dogs and their owners to a remembrance service this November. 

The annual service, now in its seventh year, was inspired by Freda, a Dalmatian-type dog that was the New Zealand Rifles’ mascot, when the regiment was stationed on Cannock Chase during the First World War. She died in 1918, while the regiment was training on Cannock Chase, and is buried there.

In memory of Freda, and dogs like her, the AONB team is holding a service at her grave, which is off Chase Road, near Stafford.

Last year 60 people, many accompanied by their dogs, gathered at Freda’s grave to take part in the ceremony. This included listening to readings and poems, and laying wreaths on the grave.

Ruth Hÿtch, Cannock Chase AONB Officer, said: “The ceremony is a chance to think about the debt of gratitude we owe to working dogs.

“It is a moving service, so whether you’re remembering the bravery of a military or police dog, or a missed support or pet dog, everyone is welcome.”

Dogs can also attend the special service, which takes place in the beautiful surroundings of Cannock Chase.

Freda’s grave is 0.6 miles south east of Brocton Village, near Stafford. It is marked ‘Meml’ on the Ordnance Survey Explorer Map 244 – Cannock Chase and its grid reference is SJ978188.

The Milford Common Trail passes the grave. A leaflet is available from the nearby Cannock Chase Visitor Centre at Marquis Drive in Cannock Chase Country Park.

To find out more call the AONB office on 01785 619185 or email mailto:cannockchase@staffordshire.gov.uk

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Cannock Chase Camps History Workshop

Photo by Graham Walker

Photo by Graham Walker

The final event of the Reaching Out Arms project features a free workshop that will delve into Cannock Chase’s First World War history.

After receiving funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund in 2015, The Friends of Cannock Chase, in partnership with Cannock Chase AONB, received a further £9,500 to deliver the second stage of the Reaching Out Arms – The Story of WWI on Cannock Chase project.

In the final stage of the project, the organisers are running a workshop at Staffordshire Records Office on Saturday 24 September from 10am to 12noon.

Trevor Warburton, from the Friends of Cannock Chase, said: “Our Cannock Chase Camps History Workshop will give participants a chance to see original documents from the First World War and to get help on how to begin their own research of the archives.

“Amongst our findings are documents that relate to soldiers who trained at Brocton and Rugeley Camp, which give us a fascinating insight into what life was like at this time.”

Booking is essential and free spaces will be given on a first come, first served basis.

To book your free place on the Cannock Chase Camps History Workshop, please call the Project Organiser on 07984333343. If you are interested in the WWI project team coming to speak to your community group, find out more by emailing cannockchaseww1@outlook.com

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Free WW1 Walk on Cannock Chase

Our volunteer walk leaders have been testing out a route around Brindley Heath including the Hospital and other remnants of the WW1 training camps. We’ll be starting from Cannock Chase Visitor Centre, Marquis Drive, Hednesford WS12 4PW at 10:00am, Tuesday 19th July 2016. The walk is around 2 ½ miles and will take a couple of hours, as usual depending on how much talking we do!

The walk will be repeated during the Military History Weekend at Cannock Chase Visitor Centre over Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th August 2016.

If you would like to come along on any of these dates, please let Anne know either on 01785 619185 or email anne.walker@staffordshire.gov.uk

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Free bus tours to find out about Cannock Chase’s WWI history

Everyone’s invited to book a free seat on a tour bus that will take local people round Cannock Chase Area of Natural Beauty, stopping off at the military camps, a cemetery and the Great War Hut.

After receiving funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund in 2015, The Friends of Cannock Chase, in partnership with Cannock Chase AONB, received a further £9,500 to deliver the second stage of the Reaching Out Arms – The Story of WWI on Cannock Chase project.

As part of the second phase, the organisers are running two bus tours that will travel across Cannock Chase AONB to all the important World War One sites

Trevor Warburton, from the Friends of Cannock Chase, said: “Our fully accessible guided bus tour of Cannock Chase AONB will be stopping at several key locations for a short tour and history by one of our expert volunteers.

“All you need to do is book a seat on one of the two tours, and sit back and relax and let us guide you around the camps, sharing our knowledge and pointing out the remaining groundworks which can still be seen today.”

The first bus tour is on Saturday 16 July, with a 10am pick up at Hednesford Train Station. From there the bus will travel to the military cemeteries, Penkridge Bank Camp and the Great War Hut, returning to Hednesford for 3pm.

The second opportunity to go on the tour is on Saturday 30 July. This time the bus will collect the group from Penkridge Train Station at 10am. It will then travel onto the military cemeteries, Penkridge Bank Camp and the Great War Hut, returning to Penkridge for 3pm.

Both groups can either pack a picnic or stop off at Cannock Chase Visitor Centre’s café for refreshments.

Booking is essential and seats will be given on a first come, first served basis.

To book your free place please call Cannock Chase AONB on 01785 619185. If you are interested in the WWI project team coming to speak to your community group, find out more by emailing cannockchaseww1@outlook.com

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Dementia Friendly Strategy launches

Cannock Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty launched its Dementia Friendly Strategy and series of walks at a free event last month. Couple

The Cannock Chase AONB team, with the help of Carers Association Southern Staffordshire, has developed a Dementia Friendly Strategy.

To celebrate its launch, the team invited anyone who was interested in finding out more about it to a free walk and talk on 17 May.

More than 20 people attended the event, which included a free walk followed by launch of the strategy by Councillor Bob McCardle.

Emma Beaman, Assistant AONB Officer, commented: “Making the AONB a fantastic place to visit for people with dementia and their families will enable more people to benefit from the health and wellbeing opportunities available in this beautiful area.”

The strategy and associated work was funded by Natural England’s Innovation Fund.

To find out more about the strategy call Emma Beaman on 01785 619186 or email emma.beaman@staffordshire.gov.uk

 

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Dementia Friendly Strategy launches

CoupleCannock Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty launched its Dementia Friendly Strategy and series of walks at a free event last month.

The Cannock Chase AONB team, with the help of Carers Association Southern Staffordshire, has developed a Dementia Friendly Strategy.

To celebrate its launch, the team invited anyone who was interested in finding out more about it to a free walk and talk on 17 May.

More than 20 people attended the event, which included a free walk followed by launch of the strategy by Councillor Bob McCardle.

Emma Beaman, Assistant AONB Officer, commented: “Making the AONB a fantastic place to visit for people with dementia and their families will enable more people to benefit from the health and wellbeing opportunities available in this beautiful area.”

The strategy and associated work was funded by Natural England’s Innovation Fund.

To find out more about the strategy call Emma Beaman on 01785 619186 or email emma.beaman@staffordshire.gov.uk

 

 

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Local libraries stock copies of The Anzac Puppy

Trevor Warburton and Kerry Hutchings with Anzac Puppy book

A children’s book, set in Cannock Chase during World War I, is available to borrow from selected libraries in Staffordshire, thanks to the Friends of Cannock Chase.

Using part of the Heritage Lottery Fund grant for the ‘Reaching Out Arms – the Story of Cannock Chase in World War I’, the Friends of Cannock Chase have bought a 20 copies of The Anzac Puppy and given then to nine libraries.

Back in 2014, the team at Cannock Chase AONB was contacted by New Zealander Peter Millet who needed help researching his latest book, which was inspired by Freda, a Harlequin Great Dane and mascot of the NZ Rifle Brigade during World War I.

The team put him in touch with Trevor Warburton a Friend of Cannock Chase, and Marion Kettle from the Landor Society, who helped the writer find out information about Freda’s history.

Following the publication of The Anzac Puppy, Peter visited the UK last summer and met the Friends of Cannock Chase and members of the Landor Society.

On the visit, he laid a poppy spray at the Commonwealth Cemetery and one on Freda’s grave. He also had a look around the World War I Hut at Marquis Drive.

As The Anzac Puppy is not available in the UK, the Friends of Cannock Chase decided to buy 20 copies so the story can be enjoyed by children across Staffordshire.

Author of The Anzac Puppy, Peter Millett, said: “During 2015 nearly every school in Auckland placed a copy of The Anzac Puppy in their library for students to read and enjoy. I’m thrilled that children in Staffordshire will also get an opportunity to read Freda’s story.”

Trevor Warburton, Secretary of Friends of Cannock Chase, said: “Freda has become a well-known feature of the Chase over the years and it was wonderful to meet Peter recently on his trip to visit her memorial. The book is a beautifully crafted piece of work and we are pleased to be able to donate copies to local libraries to raise awareness of the effect of the Great War camps on communities.”

Kerry Hutchings, Stock, Services & Activities Officer (South Central Cluster), Staffordshire Libraries and Arts Service, said: “Staffordshire Libraries are delighted to have been gifted copies of The Anzac Puppy books. Their rarity in the United Kingdom, and the fact that Freda was a local girl, make them even more special.

“We are honoured to be chosen to keep the stories of this faithful dog and our Great War heroes alive.”

The Anzac Puppy is available to borrow from libraries in Rugeley, Brereton, Cannock, Norton Canes, Heath Hayes, Hednesford, Stafford, Baswich and Penkridge.

 

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