Mascots of the Armed Forces

Discussion in 'World War 1' started by liverpool annie, Dec 29, 2008.

  1. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    How many more do you know ?? :)

    The Grey Mule

    Mascot of the Queen's Own Sappers & Miners
    The Royal Engineers
    The Madras Sappers

    Bangalore, India

    The Grey Mule, which was the Regimental Mascot of this Group joined the Queen's Own Sappers & Miners in 1891. He was pensioned in 1922, and finally died in 1933. During his life of nearly forty seven years or so, he accompanied the Units on the following Campaigns:

    1. Chitral 1895
    2. Tirah 1897
    3. Malakand 1897
    4. Tibet 1903
    5. Abhor 1911
    6. Egypt 1915 - 1917
    7. Palestine 1917-1918

    The hooves of the Grey Mule have been utilised for an artistic "ink pot stand" which is preserved in the Officer's Mess at Bangalore. The Grey Mule had been buried within the Unit Lines of (M.T. Coy) of the Regimental Centre at Bangalore and the Monument still exists.

    After the Grey Mule's faithful tenure, there has been no other Regimental Mascot.

    In 1921, the Expeditionary Force was returning to India and orders were given that all mules numbering some thousands were to be sold to the Egyptians. Col. Bassett, then OC, 10 Field Coy, interceeded on behalf of the Grey Mule and obtained special permission from the Force Commander, Sir. Philip Chetwode, to take the old Grey Mule back with 10 Coy to India.

    On arriving in Bangalore, the Grey Mule was pensioned off and given the freedom of the Lines and fed and cared for by which ever Field Troop was stationed there. He wandered gently around, never leaving the neighbourhood of the lines, an honoured guest and pensioner.

    The Grey Mule died in the Lines in 1933, aged about 47 years, but before then, at the 150th Anniversary Reunion in 1930, he had headed the March Past of the Pensioners, led by some Sapper Driver who had led him up the Malakand 33 years before, and wearing his Campaign ribbons on his browband. When the column reached the spectators, everyone in the stands and on the benches, stood up and they went past in tribute. It was the old Grey Mule's last parade.

    (Above extract, courtesy of Col.S.K. Vohra, Madras Sappers Museum and Archives, MEG, Bangalore, India)

    There is a story linked to this Grey Mule, that during one of the Campaigns some soldiers were trapped in a mine-field. Because of his keen sense of smell and inborn animal instincts the Grey Mule was able to detect the layout of the mines and rescued the soldiers by bringing them back through the field. This is probably the special attachment the Regiment had for the Grey Mule - saving their comrades!!
  2. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

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