The Royal Warwickshire Regiment [originally the 6th Regiment of Foot].
A formation raised by a few adventurous Englishmen to help the Dutch in 1673-4 laid the foundation of the old 6th. In 1685 it was included in the army of James II, but returned again to the Netherlands, appearing next in England when William of Orange became king . The distinction of “Royal” dates from 1832.
The regiment won its badge* at the battle of Almanza (1707) by capturing a standard with the antelope emblem thereon – antelopes have since become regimental mascots. Allied regiments are the Weyburn Regiment and the Westminster Regiment, both of Canada, and the Hauraki Regiment of New Zealand.
*The origin of the antelope badge is debatable. This is one version.
Of comparitively recent origin, the Irish Guards were raised at the wish of Queen Victoria in 1900 as a tribute to the magnificent services rendered by Irish regiments during the South African campaign [Boer War].
An Irish wolfhound which proudly “follows the drum” on ceremonial parades is the treasured mascot of the Irish Guards. The Army chooses its mascots for a variety of reasons, some symbolise regimental badges, others record campaigns, whilst some pets even have utility, like the kittens which the soldiers carried inside their coats for warmth at the battle of Alma [Crimean War, 1854].
That last line, written in 1939 as if we should know the story, is intriguing. I haven’t been able to find any details so far, certainly no eye witness accounts. If you know more, please leave a comment. It might just be an urban myth that grew from the story of Bulgarian Belle, a cat that’s believed to have survived the same battle in a soldier’s back pack. Go to this link and scroll down to read more about her.
Text and cigarette cards from ‘Soldiers of the King’ by Godfrey Phillips Ltd. 1939.