Following the death of Royal Welsh regimental goat Taffy, here are some facts about this much-cherished regimental mascot:
- Taffy VI descended from a long bloodline of royal regimental goats. Records suggest that The Royal Welch Fusiliers were parading a goat as early as 1777.
- There are many romantic stories of how the goat came to be our regimental mascot. It is alleged that a young Welsh soldier found a kid goat, maybe to supplement his poor rations or maybe to keep him as a pet. This young Welsh soldier was on sentry duty during a cold night, so he put the goat inside his grey coat to keep him warm, but the soldier fell asleep whist on stag. An enemy Russian patrol approached the Welsh position and the goat bleated whilst the enemy approached. The goat woke the young Welsh soldier, who was alerted and stood to, and in turn waking up his fellow Welshmen and repelling the Russian attack.
- Since the earliest days of the regiment’s goat mascot, it has been traditional for the animal to be cared for by a member of the Drums Platoon - usually a non-commissioned officer, known as the Goat Major. He is entirely responsible for all the duties of feeding, watering, exercising, grooming and instilling the necessary parade discipline into a young regimental goat.
- When a regimental goat dies, a letter is written to Her Majesty the Queen, informing her and asking permission to select a new one. A kid goat is then chosen and adopted into the regiment. The Goat Major will then begin the hard work and instil the necessary self-restraint and obedience into the goat.
- Taffy and his Goat Major had become famous throughout Wales and elsewhere following their support to Freedom Parades and the London Olympics in 2012. Taffy had met royalty, the current Prime Minister and a long list of famous personalities, all of whom admired his good behaviour and personality. Taffy had also proudly led the Welsh Rugby Union team out onto the pitch in the Millennium Stadium, becoming familiar with members of the national side.
Facts courtesy of the Army Press Office.