the Fort Garry Horse mascot

Whitey (7K)

Headley villagers such as Katie Warner have fond memories of the Garrys' wartime mascot, 'Whitey' the Collie dog:—
"He used to lead the regiment to church. They'd bring him in, and he would lie down in the aisle right by the front pew, and would stay there the whole time. If you couldn't see him you wouldn't know he was there – and when the service was over he would get up and lead them out again."

'Whitey' had been smuggled into England in a box under anaesthetic, and was a great favourite with troops and villagers alike. Rod Waples, secretary of the Fort Garry Horse Association, says:—
"'Whitey' was a Fort Garry Horse member – his Regimental No. was H 26001/2 – and he came to us one cold night in the winter of 1939. He appeared on the doorstep, was invited in to warm up, and stayed."

John Whitton remembers: "Whitey lived with 'B' Squadron, and at morning parade time, when the Sgt. Major would shout his orders to "fall in", Whitey would literally herd the men into their various troop formations, all the while barking and rounding up the slow movers. He knew to be quiet when the Sgt. Major was about to give forth with subsequent 'orders', but would then give more barking, just to punctuate the occasion."

Ted Brumwell, also of 'B' Squadron, recalls: "He would attach himself to a Trooper as his master for a couple of weeks, then move on to another troop."

Sadly, 'Whitey' was accidentally run over and killed by a truck shortly before D-Day, and buried with proper military ceremony at a spot code-named 'Shangri-La' near Fawley in March 1944.

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All Tanked Up . . . by John Owen Smith
Large-format pages – 98pp, photos, maps, information – ISBN 978-1-873855-54-6