Military mascots

Page 2 – First World War mascots

Caesar, A Company, 4 Battalion, New Zealand Rifle Brigade

Caesar the Anzac dog

Caesar was a trained Red Cross bulldog that, before being killed in action, helped rescue wounded troops during the Battle of the Somme in 1916. Dogs were especially useful for helping stretcher-bearers find wounded soldiers in no man's land at night. Patricia Stroud wrote a book about Caesar's life, Caesar the Anzac dog, which was illustrated by Bruce Potter. Read more...

Floss the New Zealand Army rugby team mascot

Floss the NZ Army rugby mascot

Floss, a fox terrier, was the mascot of the New Zealand Army rugby team that toured England in 1917. She was famous for performing tricks, including skipping a rope and leaping a 14-inch hurdle to land on her hind legs. Apparently, she could also 'pray, go to bed, play a piano, count to five, sit at a table and give orders to the waiter, and take cover in an air raid.' Read more...

Pelorus Jack of HMS New Zealand

Pelorus Jack the mascot

The battlecruiser HMS New Zealand was served by two bulldog mascots called Pelorus Jack. The first joined the ship in 1913 but was 'Discharged Dead' from the Royal Navy on 24 April 1916. Pelorus Jack the Second was on board the ship during the Battle of Jutland and achieved the rank of leading sea dog before his final discharge in October 1919. Read more...

Freda, 5 Battalion, New Zealand Rifle Brigade

Military mascot Freda the dog

Freda, the Harlequin Great Dane mascot of the New Zealand Rifle Brigade, was stationed with the Brigade at Cannock Chase, near Brocton in England. The 5 (Reserve) Battalion had been at Brocton since September 1917, and Freda was probably acquired there. She died in late 1918 and was buried at Cannock Chase. Members of the Brigade erected a headstone in her memory. Read more...

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Nip, Wellington Infantry Regiment

Nip was a brown spaniel owned by Trooper R.L. Evatt of the Wellington Infantry Regiment. After being wounded at least once, the dog was killed in action and was honoured with an obituary notice in the chronicles of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force.

Action, Wellington Infantry Battalion

Another spaniel that survived the campaigns in Egypt, Gallipoli and France was Action, which belonged to Colonel C.H. Weston of Wellington. Action was said to have been smuggled back to New Zealand in a kitbag. After surviving death and destruction at the front, Action was run over by a taxicab in New Plymouth.

How to cite this page

'First World War mascots', URL:, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 17-May-2017

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