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Military Mascots

In many countries, army regiments often kept official and unofficial pets that were popular amongst soldiers in wartime. Sometimes pets took part in military activities – that’s how messenger dogs trained for delivering messages emerged. Mascots cheered up soldiers and helped to cope with stress and personal loss, common emotions during the war.
Some countries implemented the practice of bringing animals that served as national symbols to the frontier so as to remind soldiers what are they fighting for. For instance, shots below illustrate kangaroos in Egypt, that were brought by Australian army.
The collection includes images from Australian War Memorial, US Library of Congress and National Library of Scotland.
[U.S.S. New York, Admiral Sampson's son and Pitch the Mascot]
87 Media in collectionpage 1 of 1

“Whacko” the cockatoo and “Cobber” the dog

ID Number: 052601 .Maker: James Tait .Australia, Victoria, Tatura ..Camp mascots of No. 1 Camp, Tatura Internment Group, "Whacko" the sulphur crested cockatoo, and "Cobber" the dog. ..Rights... more

[Theodore Roosevelt's Rough Riders, at military camp, Montauk Point, New York]

Photograph showing soldiers posing for group picture with a dog mascot, Montauk Point, New York.

Mascot "Maine", Cavite, P.I.

Man with large dog, in front of group of people, Cavite, Philippine Islands.

Mascots of the battleship TEXAS and 13 in. gun

Sailors with cat on barrel of gun and dog inside the barrel.

[D.C. Wash. - U.S. Marine Corps marching in Taft inaugural parade on Pennsylvania Ave.; dog mascot in front]

Photo shows Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., at 13th Street (location verified by Gibson Bros. building at left.)

Hans von Minning, 15 years, mascot of German Reg't

Photograph possibly shows Hans von Mining, a mascot with the German Army during World War I. (Source: Flickr Commons project, 2011)

He is fond of flying

R.A.F. Squadron's fox mascot, France, during World War I. The fox is sitting in a plane's cockpit. ..Regimental, barrack or group mascots were popular amongst soldiers during this period. They gave the group a... more

Group of German prisoners with the regimental pet that was captured at Poelcapple

German prisoners posing for the camera. In the middle of the group there is a dog, probably a pet or mascot. All of the men are in uniform. Whilst the majority of them look sombre, one or two manage a smile. ..... more

Fowl house in the trenches just behind the front line

British soldiers collecting eggs from hens in a rear line trench, in France, during World War I. With their 'Dixie's (cooking pots) full of eggs, three British soldiers are shown handling a hen and rabbit outsi... more

Latest prisoner

A relaxed but dirty soldier with a coat slung over his arm is leading a tiny dog away from an out-of-focus group of soldiers. In the background the group are standing around a deep crater. The skeletons of bomb... more

Returning from the trenches

Five soldiers standing looking into the camera. There is a goat standing in front of the man on the far right. All five men are wearing steel helmets, and two of the men are wearing waterproof capes. The man se... more

Regimental pet of a battalion of the Staffordshire Regiment

Regimental mascot during World War I. A large shaggy dog sits on top of a very well-kept horse. Behind the horse two officers are steadying both animals. There is a long barrack building and tents in the backgr... more

R.A.F. men with their pet rabbits at a Squadron near the lines

RAF men showing off their pet rabbits, France, during World War I. Lying underneath the fuselage of an aeroplane, these three RAF men parade their pet rabbits for the cameras inspection. Well known for their fo... more

One of the workers is in charge of the camp mascot

A smiling British volunteer is pictured with the dog that acted as her regiment's mascot. The adoption of dogs as mascots by British regiments reflects the important military roles fulfilled by dogs as far back... more

Messenger dog in the front area jumping across shell holes with a message for headquarters behind the lines

Messenger dog leaping across shell holes on its way to headquarters, in France, during World War I. The collie dog bounding its way across the shell holes is carrying messages to company headquarters. Rolled up... more

Messenger dog with its handler, in France, during World War I

Messenger dog with its handler, in France, during World War I. This collie dog worked as a messenger in the front line under constant gunfire. A scrolled up message can be seen attached to the dogs collar. Dogs... more

Mascot of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers; ready to parade

A fully uniformed soldier wearing a flat cap and puttees is looking into the camera. He is holding a leash on the end of which is the fluffiest white goat with a huge set of dangerous looking curved horns. The ... more

Members of the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry outside one of their huts

Gathered in front of their Nissen-type hut, this photograph shows six women from the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry (FANY) with their regimental mascot, posing for the camera...Since the nature of FANY members duti... more

Mascot of the Royal Scots

A young soldier of the Royal Scots Regiment holding a black goat kid. As the French farmers were forced to flee their homes many animals were inevitably abandoned. Some undoubtedly ended up in the cooking pot, ... more

Listening to His Master's voice

Soldiers sitting round a gramophone listening to music. The 'Iron Cavalry' have their mascots like other regiments. Listening to His Master's voice. They appear to be in a camp and look off duty and relaxed. ... more

With Billy the hospital pet, waiting to see the Queen

Nurses with the hospital pet. This image shows a group of nurses posing for the camera with the hospital pet, a little dog. They appear to be standing on a balcony. The nurse in the middle is wearing an armband... more

Two swans well known to the Tommies in a certain area in France: midst pretty surroundings

British soldier standing beside a lake with two swans, France. Photographs of wildlife are not something that appear very often in images from the Western Front. So this idyllic photograph of a British soldier ... more

Two mascots

With the regimental dogs standing proudly on the ambulance's mudguards, this photograph shows a pair of smiling female nurses - or drivers - standing in front of a Red Cross ambulance. These nurses belonged to ... more

Troops receive many presents of cigarettes from various manufacturers at home

Soldiers posing for the camera, during World War I. They are standing in front of a large bank of earth. Two of the men in the front row are holding shells, with more shells positioned in front of them. Most of... more

Trench mortar school mascot on a German trench mortar

Man standing next to a captured German trench mortar. There is a tiny monkey sitting on the barrel of the trench mortar. The man is holding the monkey's hand and is looking closely at the monkey's face. They ar... more

Triumphant dog sitting atop a gun surrounded by gunners, France, during World War I

Triumphant dog sitting atop a gun surrounded by gunners, France, during World War I. Proudly perched on top of what looks like a howitzer, this pet dog was the regimental mascot of the artillery gunners also ga... more

Tommies playing with their little pet

Two uniformed men with a small dog. The two men are sitting outside on a pile of sandbags. The man on the left holds the front paws of the dog as it stands on its hind legs. There is another man sitting on the ... more

This goat is the battery's mascot

A young gunner sitting directly in front of the camera. He is in uniform and has the letters 'R.G.A.' on his lapel. Next to him a small goat is eating out of a metal container. The surrounding area is rough and... more

Stunter, the clever mascot of the Tank Corps who, owing to his experience gained by riding about in Tanks, can balance himself on the bars of a motor-bicycle

Tank Corp's mascot, 'Stunter', and his officer, France, during World War I. The officer and his bike look clean and well-kept and they appear to be in front of a grand house surrounded by gardens. The subjects ... more

Staff of a Field Ambulance in France

Men of a Field Ambulance unit. About 80 men are lined up, with the officers and the unit's mascot dog in the foreground. The unit cyclist stands to the left and their eight horses are lined up at the back...Bic... more

Divisional Commander with the divisional pet 'Rip'

The Divisional Commander is attending a sports day organised by the Black Watch. The events area has been cordoned off, and the Commander is sitting on the sidelines with the other spectators. Next to the Comma... more

Cheery pilot and observer with their mascot pup ready for a flight over the German lines

Pilot and observer inside the cockpit of a two-man biplane, in France, during World War I. Holding up the regimental mascot of a pet dog and with big smiles on their faces, a pilot and an observer are pictured ... more

Barracks on wheels for accommodating railway

Rapid railway construction in France. Accommodation in railway carriages, Western Front, France, during World War I. A line of railway carriages stand on a track to the left. Each carriage has a set of wooden ... more

Australian nurse with a kangaroo mascot

ID Number: H19100 .Harefield, England. ..Taken during the First World War..An Australian nurse at No 1 Australian Auxiliary Hospital about to feed their pet kangaroo Jimony...Rights Info: No known copyright res... more

A cat on HMAS Encounter

ID Number: 304910 .Photograph taken during the First World War..The feline mascot of the light cruiser HMAS Encounter ( http://www.awm.gov.au/units/unit_10622.asp ) , peering from the muzzle of a 6 inch gun. . ... more

Staff Sergeant Major Morgan and dog, 1915

ID Number: DA09725 .Maker: Darge Photographic Company.Place made: Australia: Victoria, Melbourne, Broadmeadows..Studio portrait, probably of Staff Sergeant Major (SSM) Gabriel Albert Morgan, Instructional Staff... more

A koala in Cairo, 1915

ID Number:P00156.031 .Cairo, Egypt. ..A corporal, probably on the staff of the 2nd Australian general hospital, holds a koala, a pet or mascot...Rights Info: No known copyright restrictions...This photograph ... more

Mascot of PHILADELPHIA

Photograph shows a young boy holding a cat, the mascot of the S.S. Philadelphia of the American Line, which arrived in New York from Liverpool on Feb. 22, 1917. (Source: Flickr Commons project, 2015)

Mascots on RECRUIT

Photograph shows the U.S.S. Recruit, a fake battleship built in Union Square, New York City by the Navy to recruit seamen and sell Liberty Bonds. (Source: Flickr Commons project, 2014)

Ship’s mascots on HMAS Sydney 1940

ID Number: 002452 ..Aboard HMAS Sydney are two ships mascots who don't agree: Able Seaman J. T. Walker with his pup "Shrapnel" and Able Seaman Gamble with his cat "Salvo"...Rights Info: No... more

Squadron mascots, 1943

ID Number: NWA0031 . .Coomalie Creek, Northern Territory...Two members of No. 31 (Beaufighter) Squadron RAAF, holding the squadron mascots, a joey (young kangaroo) and a dog. Left to right: Flight Lieutenant... more

The mascot pup after a bath 1943

ID Number: 053601 .Maker: Ronald Keith Monro.Atherton, Qld. ..The mascot of a cookhouse at the 9th Australian division, a puppy dog, being dried after his bath, in preparation for the visit of general Douglas M... more

Captain Michelson and “Tim” the turtle

ID Number: 001117 .Maker: Damien Peter Parer .Place made: Palestine, Julis . .Captain D Michelson with a turtle named “Tim”, the mascot of the 2/2nd Battalion. ..Rights Info: No known copyright restrictions... more

'Ferdie', the Pygmy Flying Phalanger, 1945

ID Number: OG2824 .Maker: John Thomas Harrison.Place made: Halmahera Islands, Morotai..'Ferdie', the Pygmy Flying Phalanger, is on active service with a famous RAAF Spitfire squadron. He belongs to O35898 Flyin... more