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:firstname.lastname@example.org