Regimental Mascots

Irish Guards 1910 to 1924

Leitrim Boy was the second regimental pet. He was whelped on November 12th, 1907, bred by Mr. O'Malley, by Galtee Boy out of Carlow Norah. He was registered with the Kennel Club by his owner, Mr. T.J. Kilbride, with the incorrect information that his sire was Galtee and unregistered. In June, 1911 he was transferred from Mr. T.J. Kilbride to Mr. T. Kilbride and then in December, 1911 he was transferred from Mr. T. Kilbride to Lord Powerscourt. This may seem a little odd since he was presented to the Irish Guards by Lord Powerscourt in 1910, following his gaining of a second place in the Graduate Class and a third in the Limit Class at the Dublin Show in May that year.
 Leitrim Boy
 Leitrim Boy
 children greeting Leitrim Boy
Children greeting Leitrim Boy
( painting by Edgar A. Holloway) 
newspaper item 
 This newspaper item appeared c. 1915 -
Mr. John Redmond, M.P. reviews the band of the Irish Guards
before the High Mass at Westminster Cathedral
 1913 Christmas card
 Christmas card sent from Wellington Barracks in 1913
showing Drummer & Fifer of the 1st Battalion with
Leitrim Boy
St. Patrick's Day, 1917 
 St. Patrick's Day, 1917 and Leitrim Boy receives his shamrock at
Warley Barracks
Leitrim Boy's official portrait 
 The official portrait of Leitrim Boy
by Heywood Hardy
Leitrim Boy served from 1910 to 1917.
 Although the Irish Guards officially only had male hounds, this newspaper picture indicates otherwise. Interestingly, an article entitled Shaggy Dog Story in Soldier (the British Army Magazine) of February 1970 mentions 'the only bitch mascot', Queen Mor.
 The Irish Guards' Queenie
 This bitch was known in the Regiment as
Queenie and
the caption given with the picture
was "'Queenie' (The Irish Guards' mascot) ".
This photograph appeared in Our Dogs Supplement of
December 10th, 1915 on a page devoted to
'Regimental and Naval Canine Mascots'
Doran was the next official Regimental Pet. He was bred by Mr. F.H. Purchase, by Ch. Felixstowe Gelert out of Chalfont Wolverene, born May 15th, 1913. He was owned by his breeder in partnership with Mrs. I.P. Crisp (Hindhead). He was shown during 1914 to 1917 and was then presented to the Irish Guards. John Baily, the judge at Crufts in 1916, said of him: "......another very fine hound, good in size, coat and length of body; he did not make the most of himself in the ring. From his appearance, substance and soundness, and particularly his pedigree, he should be a most useful dog at stud, and breeders would be wise to make the most of him."
 Doran  This picture appeared in a newspaper in March, 1922 with the caption:
"Doreen", the mascot of the 1st Battalion of the Irish Guards. The battalion is under orders to sail for Turkey next month, and there will be much regret if the animal cannot be allowed to accompany it."

"Doreen" is presumably a mis-spelling of "Doran".

It is noticeable that newspaper reports always referred to the hounds as "mascots", even though they were known in the regiment itself as "regimental pets" until 1961.

However, there is a photograph in the book "Irish Guards: The First Hundred Years" which shows the same hound and young handler in the St. Patrick's Day Parade of 1919. The men in the picture are wearing white lanyards on their left shoulder and this is said to show that this was the 2nd Battalion and that the hound must therefore be Frank, the "pet" of the 2nd Battalion. The 2nd Battalion ceased to exist in October, 1919. Yet, although it's not very clear, the soldier in this newspaper picture also appears to be wearing a white lanyard on his left shoulder despite the fact that the newspaper appeared two and a half years after the 2nd Battalion's final march. And the hound is undoubtedly the same in both pictures.
St. Patrick's Day, 1918
The photograph above is the same as the one in the book "Irish Guards: The First Hundred Years" (mentioned above) and was published in the 1919 publication "The Great War". The caption read: "Mascot dog of the Irish Guards on parade at Warley Barracks on St.Patrick's Day, 1918. [a year earlier than in the book] They " made history," said Lord Cavan - in command of the Guards Brigade - of the Irish Guards' services at the first battle of Ypres."

"Irish Guards: The First Hundred Years" also shows a picture of two hounds taken in the Barracks and said to be Doran and Frank, and a picture of Frank leading the 2nd Battalion on its Final March. The picture of the two hounds is not at all clear but they do look very like those in the photograph mentioned below, of St. Patrick's Day, 1908, but the wolfhound in that photograph is quite obviously Brian Boru, of whom many pictures are still available.

The book "Wolfhounds on Parade" makes no mention of Frank but it does include a photograph taken by a Mrs. Albert Broom of Brian Boru (the first Regimental Pet) with another dog believed to be a Gt. Dane named Dennis (although "Dennis" has neat Greyhound ears). These two also appear in the photograph of St. Patrick's Day, 1908 on the previous page. It was apparently quite common for officers to have their own dogs in the barracks, as can be seen from Seán's Story.

In his book "The Micks: The story of the Irish Guards" Peter Verney mentions the homecoming of the Guards Division following the Great War of 1914-18, which occurred on March 22nd, 1919. "It was a great occasion for all who took part and for the schoolboys from the Officers' Training Corps who lined the streets. The whole of London seemed to have turned out for the homecoming of their Guards. The Scots Guards brought along the two cows - Bella and Bertha - which they had acquired at Neuve Chapelle, and for the first time two Irish wolfhounds belonging to the two battalions of the Irish Guards were on parade together. One of them caused a roar of laughter when, pressed by the call of nature, he towed his diminutive drummerboy keeper to the nearest lamp-post."

In the Editorial of the Irish Guards Association Journal of February 1969, written by Col. Harvey-Kelly, he does say that "No complete record exists on the Wolfhounds". For the article on The Irish Wolfhound and the Irish Guards written by Col. Harvey-Kelly for that issue of the Journal, click here

 Official portrait of Doran
 The official portrait of Doran
by Heywood Hardy
Doran on St. Patrick's Day march  
 A book plate showing Doran leading the St. Patrick's Day march,
wearing a collar of the Shamrock
Doran was the Regimental Pet until 1924.
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Updated 7/11/2007