A TINY teddy given to a soldier as a mascot as he departed for the First World War is hoping someone will find him a name.

Owner Carole Oke, of Long Street, Devizes, bought the bear at an antique fair in September and the toy has been part of Wiltshire Museum’s Why We Went to War exhibition since October.

The mascot bears usually sell at auction for between £300 and £400 but Mrs Oke snapped up hers for just £25.

The 61-year-old, who has taken the bear home from the museum to be with her for Christmas, said: “All I know about his history is that a lady from Bath had him in her family for years as one of her relatives took it to war with him. I am now in the process of making inquires to try and track her down.

“He is safe and has a new home now although I was happy to lend him to the museum as I know he is being well looked after.

“He does really need a name though and doing this will bring the story of the bears to a new generation of people.”

Curator at the Wiltshire Museum, Lisa Brown, said: “We were excited to have him as part of the exhibition as he is nothing like anything else we have. He is a very poignant reminder of the war and reminds you of the human sacrifice made by the soldiers.”

The four-inch tall mohair teddy bears played a part in comforting soldiers as they departed for war and were affectionately known as sweetheart, soldier or mascot bears. They were given to soldiers by girlfriends and families in the hope that they would be good luck mascots and were often sold in patriotic red, white and blue.

The teddies were designed to have their eyes positioned at the top of their heads so they could look out of the top pocket of a uniform and be a small reminder of the homes and loved ones left behind.Mrs Oke’s teddy will be back on display at the museum from January 5.

To submit a name suggestion email lisa.brown@ wiltshiremuseum.org.uk with the reason behind it plus your contact details by January 31.