Kangaroos – The 100 Days Project: Day 55 [46]

Mascots

Collection: Australian War Memorial

One of those sad ironies, and perhaps a plank in the strange national ambivalence toward the kangaroo, that some of the contingents of volunteers sent to fight the Boers, or Australian Infantry Force’s crack shots of the First World War should have honed their skills shooting kangaroos, and yet, now overseas, keen to mark themselves out as Australian, kangaroos should mean so much to them they would use them as mascots.

Collection: Australian War Memorial

There have long been kangaroos at the Cairo zoo. How many found themselves there (or at zoos and other animal parks in France and England) as ‘donations’ from troops who had decided – or been ordered – not to take them into battle? Did any go into battle? What, overall, was the survival rate of kangaroo mascots? Was it any higher than the men?

So sad, this young guy looks. And so lost. ‘The Siege Train Regimental Pet’. I wonder what was his story:

Collection: Australian War Memorial

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