Volunteers all the way from America are the latest recruits to the knitting campaign to supply Tamworth & Lichfield’s local battalion, 3 Mercian (The Staffords), with beanie hats for their upcoming tour of Afghanistan.
The North Staffordshire Regiment Living History Association, also known as the “Black Knots” is an American based re-enactment group that works to further understanding of the average British soldier in World War Two.
The organisation is based on the East Coast of the United States with members from Eastern Virginia to Southern Pennsylvania. They are the only group in that part of America to portray an English Infantry Regiment. The Black Knot’s primary re-enactment focus is of the 6th Battalion and 2nd Battalion of the North Staffordshire Regiment.
But the members of the Black Knots now have an additional focus and are busily knitting beanie hats for 3 Mercian.
So far, nearly 400 hats have been generously knitted and donated by individuals and sewing circles to our local troops to wear under their Kevlar helmets during training and deployment. The helmets can be very uncomfortable in high or low temperatures so a knitted beanie hat worn inside the helmet helps enormously.
Tamworth MP, Christopher Pincher, said, “It is wonderful that our beanie hat campaign has “gone global” showing that respect and affection for British troops extends beyond our own shores to those of our ally America. I hope we can show our appreciation as a community for the kind help of our American friends and I will be talking to the Council about that.
“Thank you to everyone already involved in this project. If you would like to help, or know someone else that might, please call my office on 01827 312 778 or they can be collected from the Staffordshire Regiment Museum. We really want to see every deployed soldier receive a hat.”
Curator of the Staffordshire Regiment Museum, Danielle Pritchard, said, “Staff and volunteers here at the museum are very proud to get involved with Chris Pincher’s knitting campaign. It would be fantastic to be able to get enough hats for every soldier in 3 Mercian and attached from 4 Mercian, ready for their tour in October. As this will be their last as ‘Staffords’ we here at the museum are keen to get involved with anything which will assist them and show them we are always thinking of them whilst they perform their difficult duties.”
3 Mercian, along with reservists from 4 Mercian, will be deployed to Afghanistan in October 2013. Mr Pincher will take names and addresses of everyone who helps and will invite each to take part in a “big handover” of the beanie hats to commanders of the Mercian Regiment later in 2013.