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Private and confidential
This missive is top secret and to be read only by its intended recipients*.
This is an important message from the commander of the 12th Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment. I am writing to inform you of the posting of one of our troops to your city on a tip-top secret mission.
Elite messenger dog Gromit – codename ‘Bristol’s Own’ – has been seconded to the Grand Appeal on an important assignment – to raise vital funds for Bristol Children’s Hospital.
He will be posted in a key strategic position on Queen’s Square where he will receive messages to deliver to the children at the hospital.
Should you encounter Bristol’s Own do not – I repeat, DO NOT – take photographs with him on his top-secret mission and post them on social media. I have been advised by intelligence officers that you should also avoid the use of hashtags such as #bristolsown, #gromitunleashed2 and #GU2.
‘Hashtags’ are, I am told, a form of code which far from making your communications unreadable, will ensure that as many people as possible will see them.
The point of such encryption escapes me, but the use of it may expose you to the risk of winning prizes each week.
Furthermore, I have been informed that since his arrival, Bristol’s Own has ill-advisedly created a Twitter account. Please do not follow or tweet the account @BristolsOwn – doing so may only encourage further folly.
Finally, should you wish to learn more about Bristol’s Own’s activities, an information dossier is available from his attorneys, Barcan+Kirby Solicitors, at 49-50 Queen Square.
Over and out!
*Everyone who lives or works in Bristol and the surrounding areas.
A note from Bristol’s Own’s attorneys:
As you may have gathered from the Commander’s memo, Gromit is coming to Queen Square this summer! We’re very excited to be sponsoring the sculpture ‘Bristol’s Own’ by artist Susan Webber.
Bristol’s Own is a messenger dog on a mission. We’ll be assisting him in his task by collecting messages for the patients and families of Bristol’s Children’s Hospital, which we’ll translate into telegrams which will be displayed at the Cots for Tots House.
If you’d like to send a message via Bristol’s Own, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet/DM @BristolsOwn.
We’d also like to invite you to pick up a free activity pack from our offices on Queen Square, containing some family-friendly Gromit activities and freebies.
Susan has kindly shared with us some of the information she gathered whilst researching Bristol’s Own. The name refers to the 12th Gloucestershire Battalion itself, which was raised by the Citizen’s Recruiting Committee in August 1914.
Bristol’s Own (the battalion, not Gromit!) saw action throughout the First World War and were involved in a number of battles, including the Somme offensive. Unfortunately the battalion suffered many casualties over the course of the war and it was ultimately disbanded in 1918, a month before the end of the conflict.
Messenger dogs like Gromit were an effective form of communication during the war, being both fleeter of foot and harder for enemies to spot than human messengers. Dogs were also employed in reconnaissance and supply capacities, helping to sniff out enemies and locate wounded comrades. These were of course dangerous tasks – approximately one million dogs died in the war.