Skip to main content

Borax, the mascot


22 Battalion: Borax

Borax the terrier was said to have entered Trentham Camp as a volunteer, and he was initially adopted by 19 Battalion, which left him behind when it went overseas. He was then adopted by A Company, 22 Battalion, which provided him with a uniform marked with his unit and service number.

Borax may have been more determined than Sergeant Noodles (who failed to embark), or perhaps he was just lucky, for when the troop ship Empress of Britain left Wellington's Pipitea wharf carrying the Second Echelon on 2 May 1940, he managed to get on board.

Although a formal application made in camp to have him included on the embarkation roll had been refused, Borax was discovered on board a day after the ship had left port. There was a rumour that the two sergeants who claimed responsibility had been demoted and the dog destroyed, but Borax completed the journey; the Battalion history includes a photograph of him on parade in England.

A newspaper account stated that the battalion's Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel L.W. Andrew VC, was a First World War veteran who 'understood soldiers and their ways with mascots' and had a soft spot for Borax.


Borax on parade in England


(Top) Copyright Auckland War Memorial Museum. Not to be reused without permission 

(Bottom) 22 Battalion history, New Zealand Electronic Text Centre

How to cite this page

Borax, the mascot, URL:, (Manatū Taonga — Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated