Colonel Ben, the mascot

Colonel Ben, the mascot

Colonel Ben, A Squadron, Divisional Cavalry

Ben came to the Divisional Cavalry in November 1940 from an Australian soldier in Benghazi. He sailed to Greece with A Squadron in April 1941 and saw action there. He remained with the squadron throughout the desert campaign in North Africa and on one occasion was wounded and evacuated.

Ben's obituary in the NZEF Times traced his colourful career. He was promoted 'from time to time for meritorious behaviour in the field and reverted occasionally for conduct to the prejudice of good order and military discipline, and eventually attained the rank of colonel'. He died on active service at a transit camp in Soissons, France, on 18 November 1945.

The following information about Colonel Ben was provided by Murray Forster.

He served throughout the Desert and Italy. He would hop on a Div. Cav. truck and go along for the ride. When the Div. was granting English [leave] to the longer serving boys, Ben took off and joined with the boys staffing the transit camp in France where he died. We thought that those French poodles were too much for him ... He was reputed to be able to sense a ‘Ted’ [German] plane before it left the ground.

Colonel Ben


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