Regimental Mascots

Irish Guards 1924 to 1929

Following Doran was Cruachan of Ifold, bred by Ralph Montagu Scott, by Michael out of Ferb, and born 26th July, 1922.

 Cruachan of Ifold
 Cruachan of Ifold
Winner of the Height Cup at the IWC Show, 1924

Cruachan's official portrait was painted by Mrs. Horace Colemore. He wore a silver collar that is now in the Guards Museum in London. He was apparently a hound with very strong ideas of his own, as the following newspaper report shows:

I had a rare bit of fun to-day.
I am a wolf-hound, and, though I say it myself,
as fine a wolf-hound as you'll find anywhere. The
Irish Guards have adopted me as their mascot. I
go on parade with them and behave very solemnly.
You know what parades are, and how fussy the
Guards are about them.
To-day a drummer boy who often takes me out
said, "Come along, Tiny" (I am so big that of
course I have to be called Tiny), and took me in
what I think you call the dickey seat of a motor-car.
 Just as we got to Buckingham Palace I heard a band.
The Changing of the Guard. I wanted to have a look,
to see if the Coldstreamers are as smart as our
fellows. (Our fellows always swear they're not) But
the car wouldn't stop. So out I jumped, dragging
the drummer boy with me.
I soon shook him off, and, dodging sentries and
policemen, ran into the Courtyard of the Palace
and started to watch the Coldstreamers. The crowd
at the Palace gates who had also come to watch the
Coldstreamers stopped watching them to watch ME!
Just as I was getting interested in the "Old Guard,
Present  Hipe!" "New Guard, Present Hipe!" stuff I
noticed the drummer boy and several policemen
I bolted.
Cruachan escaping 
 Here I am, bolting through the gates of the Palace
 Into the Green Park, round the Victoria Fountain, up
The Mall I went. By this time lots of ordinary people
were after me, and just as I was wondering what to do
I saw a batch of Coldstreamers marching down The Mall
and had an IDEA.
As they reached me I fell in with them and solemnly
marched along at their head, just as though they
were my own mob.
I was enjoying the situation thoroughly when that pesky
little drummer boy stole up at my back, grabbed my
collar, and yanked me back to barracks. Bad cess to him!
Still, I'd had my fun.
REFLECTION: Lucky for me I'm a mascot, not an
"other rank". What a charge-sheet there'd be to face
in the morning - "Absent from parade," "Unsoldierly
conduct," and goodness only knows what.
 Here are two more photographs of Cruachan on the day he charged off after the Coldstream Guards:-
 Cruachan after the Coldstreamers
"Irish Guards' mascot jumps from car to follow the Colours"
Caught by the Drummer 
 and caught by the Drummer Boy
Cruachan leading the parade 
 Cruachan leading the Band on parade
The Drums, 1st Battalion 
 Gale & Polden postcard
newspaper item 
 Newspaper item c. 1925
The Irish Guards with their Irish wolfhound mascot
passing the saluting base in the Mall.
Cruachan, it seemed, was inclined to attack other dogs when being exercised in Hyde Park and had several set-tos. One story about him on one of the regimental websites is that he actually killed a dog belonging to the Italian Ambassador. He died on November 2nd, 1929 from peritonitis. However, in the book "Irish Guards: The First Hundred Years", it states that, after the killing of the Italian Ambassador's poodle, Cruachan was retired prematurely. Although it also states that "no replacement was sought until 1942", when officially the next mascot did not appear until 1951.
Changing Guard 
 The Irish Guards leaving St. James' Palace after Changing Guard
Postcard which was sent in 1943, when there was no mascot, so the one
shown in this picture seems most likely to have been Cruachan.
On the back of the card it reads: "This ceremony takes place every morning
at 10.30 at St. James' Palace or at Buckingham Palace, when the King is in
residence. The band of one of the Guards Regiments plays during the ceremony,
which attracts a considerable crowd of cosmopolitan spectators."
These two newspaper reports date from c. 1925 when the Regimental Pet was Cruachan.
 French cadets patting Irish Guards' mascot
 It reads: French cadets from St. Cyr Military College patting the Irish Guards' mascot at Wellington Barracks yesterday. The visitors inspected the barracks and watched the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace.
St. Cyr cadets 
St. Cyr cadets saluting a colour party of the Irish Guards 

As mentioned earlier, the Regiment supposedly only had male hounds but, in fact, the Irish Guards is listed in Kennel Club Records as having bred a litter. The first registration from this litter appeared in the Kennel Gazette of December 1926 and was for a bitch named Breda, owner Mr. A.W. Sturgeon; sire Cruachan of Ifold, dam Revagh of Ifold; br. Irish Guards; wh. July 20, 1926. In the January, 1927 Kennel Gazette appeared a registration by J.V. Rank of a puppy from the same litter, Iguard of Ouborough.

Revagh of Ifold was bred by Mr. R.M. Scott; sire Torna of Ifold, dam Felixstowe Ballyneety; whelped October 10, 1923. No mention of her transfer from the ownership of Ralph Montagu Scott is made in the Kennel Club records.
In 1924 the Officers of the Irish Guards donated a presentation Shield to the newly formed Irish Wolfhound Association, where it was to be held by the owner of the best hound at the Kennel Club Show. When the Association amalgamated with the Irish Wolfhound Club, the Irish Guards Shield was then to be held by the owner of the Best Opposite Sex hound to the winner of the Graham Shield.
Irish Guards' Shield   The Irish Guards' Shield
The Shield is of sterling silver on an ebonised wood back. The central plaque is beautifully chased in relief, and represents the Irish Guards' Wolfhound mascot with Drummer Boy. Above the plaque are ribbons in sterling silver, bearing the title of the Shield, carved and raised in relief, in the centre of which is a reproduction of the Irish Guards Badge. Below the plaque is a Shamrock Wreath, also carved and raised in relief and brought on to the silver shield.
The trophy measures 22 inches by 18 inches wide.

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Updated 7/11/2007